DS&A Frequently Asked Questions

Please read the FAQs before requesting an appointment.

Who is DSA?

The office of Data Science and Analytics at the University of North Texas is staffed by two full-time employees with offices located in the General Academic Building.

Richard Herrington, Ph.D., has degrees in psychology, mathematics and education, and is proficient in R, S-Plus, SPSS, SAS, LISREL, Zope Web Server, and various other research-oriented tools in Unix/Linux. Read more.

What kind of help is offered?

Research Support: We very much enjoy collaborating on research projects with the faculty and students who come to our offices.  We can suggest the various analyses that can be performed on your data, along with the pros and cons of each.  One can use us just to bounce ideas off of in the earliest stages to help assist with diagnostic checks at the end. 

Knowledge Support: Statistics is a constantly evolving enterprise that the applied researcher typically does not have time to keep up with. That's where we come in. We have many books, articles, software at our disposal to help you learn new techniques to make your analyses better!

Software Support: We support various software packages related to research endeavors such as SPSS, S-Plus, Stata, R, LaTex, Zope, QSurvey, SAS, LISREL, and Eviews.

Programming: We can suggest strategies for specific problems, perhaps show you example programs if you desire, and hopefully help your coding become more efficient.

Instructional Support: We can offer strategies for integrating quantitative methods and statistical computing into your class.

What is NOT offered?

Software: We cannot give you help with software we do not support (which includes some specific modules for SAS, SPSS etc.), nor can we fix your supported software issue during non-office hours.  Also, some issues may need to be resolved by network managers for the various colleges on campus.

Programming: We cannot write the programs for you.

Data analysis: While we can tell you what we think you should do or what we would do in such a situation, we cannot make the final decisions about how you should analyze your data or perform the analysis for you.  That, in the end, is left to the primary investigator and/or research collaborators.  Also, we are not in the business of helping you do poor research. We expect our clients to have a vested interest in what they are researching and desire to get the most out of their data.

Meeting your deadline: You are one of many people requiring our assistance along with other general duties we have. While we can do what is possible within our means, research problems often take weeks or even months to solve so come for help early well before your deadline.

Homework: We do not provide help for coursework. The Office of Research Consulting lab on the third floor of Matthews Hall offers students help with statistical classes' coursework.

Teach basic statistics: Unfortunately, we do not have the time or resources to help students learn basic statistics (nor should you be conducting scientific research without such knowledge).  We expect at a minimum for you to have taken an introductory course so that we can speak the same language.

How do I get a copy of SPSS, SAS etc.?

Students can obtain copies of some supported software at local and web retail locations or from the software manufacturers themselves. Some versions, of varying degrees of functionality, e.g., student versions, may be available for different prices depending on the software. Stata must be purchased directly through the Stata website. Full details of software we support can be found below.

Full-time and/or benefits-eligible staff and faculty may obtain copies of SPSS and/or SAS from their respective department's network administrator. Generally, UNT's licensers for SPSS and SAS do not allow this option for undergraduate students or graduate students regardless of whether they are TFs, TAs, RAs, or RFs. However, there is an extremely limited number of complex exceptions to these license rules that allow some graduate students to obtain these software packages from the Help Desk.

For specific questions concerning supported software licensing, please contact Jacob Flores, manager, host computing services, 940-369-8232.

How much do your services cost?

Our services are free to the UNT community.

What are your hours?

Although the schedules of the members of DSA are somewhat variable depending on individual work load, we maintain coverage from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

How do I set up an appointment to meet with someone?

See the consulting page.

Please participate in the DSA Client Feedback Survey.