Study stage IV: Analysis and reporting
Analysis and reporting is the stage of a trial that researchers look forward to the most. However, it is important to have planned ahead. A properly considered statistical analysis plan is an essential part of the research process. This ensures that results are not biased by inappropriate statistical techniques. It also helps to avoid ‘data mining’ or ‘p-hunting’, where data is analysed in a multitude of ways to find some ‘significant’ difference; which undermines the integrity of the study findings. Finally, targeting your work to the right audience is essential and a considered approach can boost the impact of your study.