The bulk of my statistical training is based on null hypothesis significance testing (NHST – for the non stats geeks out there I’m talking about the tests that return p values, among other things). This knowledge has served me well in the past decade; however, increasingly more and more organizations and publications are moving beyond NHST (here is a statement from the American Statistical Association and here is an example of a publication banning p values).
Bayesian analysis is an alternative to NHST that updates the probability of a hypothesis as you collect more information. I’m not well versed in it so I’m going to steer you to a definition from stata.com. I’ve been curious about how Bayesian analysis can be applied to evaluation and more and more examples of it being used are popping up every day (here is one such example that I have recently read).
I’ve been wanting to learn about Bayesian methods and apply them to a current project but just haven’t had the time to delve into a textbook on my own. I was quite happy to see that Coursera will be offering a course starting Aug 29th and wanted to share it with others who may be interested. You can use either R or Excel for the coursework.
In the meantime, please share any examples of Bayesian analysis in evaluations below! I would love to check them out!