How To Get The Most Out Of Your Statistical Sampler

23 October 2012
By Dr. Eugene Ericksen

Statistical sampling is a powerful tool and a recognized statistical specialty. Although many people are capable of drawing simple samples, it often requires different and more advanced expertise to design the types of complex samples needed for litigation. In this article from Law 360, NERA Special Consultant Dr. Eugene Ericksen provides a guide intended to assist attorneys who are working with statistical sampling experts. Dr. Ericksen describes the sampling process in three basic steps: (1) designing the sampling plan, (2) selecting the sample, and (3) calculating standard errors and confidence intervals for the resulting estimates. He explains that the statistical sampling expert is skilled at asking the questions for which answers are needed to create a good sample design, but these answers are likely to be substantive rather than statistical. They will incorporate information outside the statistician's expertise. Dr. Ericksen suggests ways that attorneys can work with their experts to solve the types of "real world" problems that are likely to arise in any sampling case.