(Not sure how to formulate this question and also didn't find any suitable tags.)

Are there any online sites where one can find professionals who do mathematical modeling, analyzing data and so on? More general, where to turn if you need help modeling some data on a (low budget) project?

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    $\begingroup$ The nature of the project might make a big difference in terms of motivating a professional (or perhaps even an organization) to volunteer to help at a charitable rate. KUDOS on realizing that simply plugging your data into a piece of software doesn't make you an expert, and that you need expert help! $\endgroup$ – Wayne Sep 19 '11 at 16:34

Graduate students. Graduate students, as much as I hate to say this (being one) can be bribed with paper authorships and the like in lieu of actual money. It's important to recognize that said project may get done a little more slowly, as it won't be their first priority if they're also doing something for funding.

Some academic departments also have consulting classes to teach their students future skills needed to be, well, consultants, or practical experience requirements that mean students may be looking for projects. There's also always the possibility of framing your project as a potential masters thesis or the like.

So lots of ways to potentially get free/cheap labor from graduate students. The best place to start is probably emailing the department secretaries of departments from Universities near you with the kind of student you're looking for.

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    $\begingroup$ :EpiGrad Sometimes the help you get is proportional to what you pay for it. One has to take into account opportunity cost when acquiring software and/or consulting expenses. The reason I charge a lot (relatively) is that I have a long record of having made mistakes ( which I don't repeat ! ). Thus people who buy my time are buying somebody who has made all the mistakes and thus I can now get on with the "good work". This of course is said tongue in cheek but IMHO I would never look to beginners when I needed a solution ( for anything ! ). $\endgroup$ – IrishStat Sep 19 '11 at 18:21
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    $\begingroup$ @ IrishStat A fair perspective - but the project in question is low budget, so I'm assuming a statistician of ones own is out of the question. Graduate students may be the next best option to someone experienced (and as you mentioned, expensive) especially as things like consulting classes are often near end-of-degree. Would an experienced researcher do a better job? Yes. Would InsertYourFavoriteBandHere play better music at your garden party than your friend's band? Yes. But will you get them for free/low cost? $\endgroup$ – Fomite Sep 19 '11 at 19:35
  • $\begingroup$ @ EpiGrad It might depend on the quality of the "noise" . Statisticians attempt to take data and parametrically model it to create "noise" i.e. the unpredictable component. If it is not "noise" due to some omitted structure in the model then it might be discordant and some records/tapes might be in order. $\endgroup$ – IrishStat Sep 19 '11 at 20:56
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    $\begingroup$ @IrishStat Indeed - the quality of the "noise", and the nature of the project. For example, the OP asks about "mathematical modeling" and "data analysis". Assuming that means mathematical modeling rather than statistical modeling, in my field at least, that means two different people - unless you luck out and find someone who works at the intersection of both fields, happens to have some free time, and doesn't need to get paid. Possibly riding a unicorn. $\endgroup$ – Fomite Sep 19 '11 at 21:25
  • $\begingroup$ @ EpiGrad The key phrase was "modeling some data " which equates at least in my world to "statistical modelling" based upon "mathematical principles" . Yes I do have a Unicorn . Oftentimes people misuse words when they pose a question. $\endgroup$ – IrishStat Sep 19 '11 at 21:31

Not sure if you're a non-profit or not, but Jake Porway has been working on launching a Data Without Borders project, where folks can help out on non-profit projects in need of data analysis skills:

Data Without Borders seeks to match non-profits in need of data analysis with freelance and pro bono data scientists who can work to help them with data collection, analysis, visualization, or decision support.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for this ! I will certainly reach out to them and see if I can be of help. $\endgroup$ – IrishStat Sep 19 '11 at 21:18
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    $\begingroup$ There is also Statisticians Without Borders. $\endgroup$ – cardinal Sep 20 '11 at 0:07
  • $\begingroup$ Very interesting indeed. Unfortunately, it's not non-profit, just low-budget. Still this is something worth knowing about. $\endgroup$ – murrekatt Sep 20 '11 at 6:01

You might go to linkedin.com and join some groups that match your needs and ask this question. Alternatively you might approach statistical software developers to see if they could help.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the answer. Do you already know of any suitable groups to join on Linkedin? $\endgroup$ – murrekatt Sep 20 '11 at 6:00
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    $\begingroup$ Here are some : American Statistical Associates (ASA) ;The R Project for Statistical Computing ;INFORMS;Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU);• Autobox User Group - Forecasting & Time Series Analysis, ARIMA, Outliers, Transfer Function & more!;Institute of Business Forecasting & Planning;International Institute of Forecasters;Global Analytics Network (+5K analytic professionals) $\endgroup$ – IrishStat Sep 20 '11 at 10:07

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