The latest CaHRU Implementation Science and Research Methods seminar was presented by Dr Murray Smith on 25th October 2016, on the topic of statistical modelling of time series data. Dr Smith, research fellow at the Community and Health Research Unit (CaHRU), is an econometrician with a wide range of experience and research interests in micro-econometric modelling, health informatics, health economic modelling, mathematical statistics and computer algebra. Murray has previously worked as an Associate Professor in the Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics at the University of Sydney, Australia, and as an Associate Professor at the School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham before coming to the University of Lincoln. His research has focuses on the quality of use of pharmaceutical medicines in chronic disease, with analyses that utilise prescribing data drawn from a large database of general practice patient records.
He introduced his topic by defining (and giving examples) of data, and related these to how researchers can statistically model time series data in different ways. Murray described four fundamental components of times series including: time (Tt); Cycle (Ct); Seasonal (St) and Irregular (It). He also gave examples of Time Series Analysis Curves such as survival data, Engle’s AutoRegressive Conditional Heteroscedasticity (ARCH) and segmented regression. He showed how modelling time series data can be useful for quality improvement research, as this can facilitate the measurement of outcomes or impact over time and extrapolate or estimate future values or outcomes. A time series method (using segmented regression) is being used in a paper currently being prepared by Dr Murray Smith and Professor Niro Siriwardena for publication.
Dr Smith concluded his interesting presentation by recommending three key books for further reading on Statistical Modelling of Time Series Data: Time Series Analysis by Jame D Hamilton, Time Series Analysis: Forecasting and Control by George E. P. Box et al. and Introduction to Time Series and Forecasting by Peter J. Brockwell & Richard A. Davis. He made the session so interesting that participants asked for further presentations on time series analysis. For his next seminar, Murray will focus more on use of the method for current research at CaHRU to enable more researchers to apply this method to their research.
By Joseph Akanuwe