I've been working as a statistician in a governmental institution for over 8 years. I have master degree in economics I'm known for my good behaviours, intelligent and skills. Everyone who has a problem at my workplace, will contact me some times and ask me for help. And I do whatever I can to help everyone.

I always try to do things perfectly. I do big and hard works easy and brilliant. But in small and easy jobs, i do a lot of mistakes.

As you know statistics is all about numbers and figures and tables. In statistical reports even one small mistake will affect the whole job. When you see one small fault in the report you can't rely on it anymore. My mistakes in these small jobs, makes all my efforts useless and even my brilliant reports questionable.

I think I have lost my confidence and I'm thinking about quitting my job. I wanted to ask if you can give me some advices or any ways to get rid of this problem.

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  • With all due respect, have you been making those "small mistakes" during these 8 years? Given the experience you got I suppose those mistakes should have reduced significantly since you were just starting your career... is there something that could be causing you to incur in more mistakes recently? – DarkCygnus Oct 25 '17 at 16:38
  • No it's only about recently. Like in few months. And my job isn't the same as last month. I have a repeatative part in my job and things that always get done for first time. Like researches. New and innovative jobs are ok. But repeatative job by mistake. – NataliaED Oct 25 '17 at 16:49
  • Do you interact with a quality department? Disseminated reports in my company must be created with controlled forms and documents as templates, locked/validated excel spreadsheets and approved or qualified methods. Perhaps what you need is independent review to ensure your raw data and final report add up. – CKM Oct 25 '17 at 18:15
  • I send reports to the head of our organization but before that, my boss (middle manager) reads the reports and analyzes. He usually finds mistakes and returns for amendments. But still there are some errors that top managers see :( – NataliaED Oct 26 '17 at 4:22

Perhaps you should add to your work process a validation task whenever you finish a job/report. Ideally someone else should do this but doing it yourself it's better than not doing it at all. This is often used in software development but you could write specific or general points or validations your work should pass before delivering it. Also as you pointed out the lack of mistakes is quite important so you should sacrifice a bit of time checking your results in order to achieve this. Its better to be the guy that gets the reports right than the guy who finishes first.

  • In fact make a check sheet with all the things you should check before turning in the work and then fill it out for each task. You are right even tiny mistakes matter a lot in that type of analysis work. I remember some auditors being overjoyed that I found a 3 cent rounding error in one of their audit reports before publication because it would have cast doubt on their $400K finding. – HLGEM Oct 25 '17 at 17:17
  • For me the checklist would be something like a list of every requirement of the project so that you you check that each individually was properly accounted for, a check on every formula, a check on the correctness of all values that input into the formula back to the original sources, a spelling check of all text. This is the kind of thing I checked when part of my job was to QA audit reports. – HLGEM Oct 25 '17 at 17:23
  • Oh you said formula. I probably have to recheck all formulas on my excel sheets (stressed more) . I'll try the check list tomorrow. Ill will need many checklists – NataliaED Oct 25 '17 at 17:44
  • if the small task are the ones you get wrong then your checklist shouldn't be long. Also keep in mind to only check the things that actually can have mistakes, not just every item on your work. – Homerothompson Oct 25 '17 at 17:50

But in small and easy jobs, i do a lot of mistakes.

Is this the cause of the issue? If you think something is small & easy, you're not giving it your full attention, and so mistakes can creep in.

If you know that the same level of attention is needed regardless of the size or difficulty of the task, you should train yourself to apply that level of attention. It's not always easy, but you've an excellent reason to learn to do it.

  • Well that's true that I don't focus as much as hard works on easy things. I answer my calls and drink my coffee when I'm doing them. If I don't do some of them together I will never finish my tasks in time. I know I can't have quality and quantity at same time. But I have to finish a lot of work with 100% focus while many things distract me at same time... – NataliaED Oct 25 '17 at 16:57

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