Nicholas Fisher

Nicholas Fisher
The University of Sydney · School of Mathematics and Statistics

MSc, PhD, DSc

About

135
Publications
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Introduction
Nicholas Fisher is Principal of ValueMetrics Australia , an R&D consultancy specialising in the area of Performance Measurement with particular emphasis on improving quantitative reports to Boards and executive leadership. Nick’s current interests include measuring Research Quality, Safety Culture, and the deployment of Government policy He has an honorary appointment as Visiting Professor of Statistics at the University of Sydney.

Publications

Publications (135)
Article
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World University Ranking (WUR) systems play a significant role in how universities are funded and whom they can attract as faculty and students. Yet, for the purpose of comparing universities as institutions of higher education, current systems are readily gamed, provide little guidance about what needs to be improved, and fail to allow for the div...
Article
Bill van Zwet's contributions to his profession are, in their own way, comparable to his very substantial research, research supervision and teaching contributions. He had several leadership roles in professional societies, edited leading theoretical journals, started up or revived important conference series, founded a research center, and played...
Article
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An invaluable feature of the approach developed by AT&T to providing superior Value to their customers has been the best-practice process that drove the cycle of continuous improvement, based on the concept of a Value tree. This process has since lent itself readily to the task of creating superior Value for other stakeholders. Culture and its vari...
Article
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Performance measures permeate our lives, whether or not we are aware of them. They can support or frustrate what we are trying to do, help or hinder enterprises going about their business, encourage or distort behaviors, clarify or confuse purpose. We illustrate some of the consequences of poor performance measurement, explore some of the reasons w...
Article
Given the high level of global mobility, pandemics are likely to be more frequent, and with potentially devastating consequences for our way of life. With COVID-19, Australia is in relatively better shape than most other countries and is generally regarded as having managed the pandemic well. That said, we believe there is a critical need to start...
Article
Full-text available
Bill van Zwet's contributions to his profession are, in their own way, comparable to his very substantial research, research supervision and teaching contributions. He had several leadership roles in professional societies, edited leading theoretical journals, started up or revived important conference series, founded a research center, and played...
Article
Full-text available
The media is awash with data about confirmed cases of COVID-19, the number of people who have died from COVID-19-related illnesses, and how many appear to have recovered. What about the data we need to inform decision-making, but which we haven't got-the known unknowns? There are several categories: people who haven't had the virus, those who have...
Article
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Newsletter article describing the ongoing International Data Science in Schools Project (IDSSP)
Conference Paper
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This article describes a statistical research journey over the last three decades that is interwoven DNA-like with a series of encounters with some of the great names in the development of improved management practices since the Second World War. The research journey-which still continues-relates to developing a systematic statistical approach to p...
Article
The paper describes a comprehensive approach to problems of performance measurement that can be used to tackle a wide range of situations, including designing monthly board and leadership reports in enterprises, assessing research quality and monitoring the efficiency and effectiveness of government programmes. It provides a review of various metho...
Article
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Unrefereed supporting material for the RSS Discussion Paper "A Comprehensive Approach to Problems of Performance Measurement", to appear in JRSSA (2019).
Article
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Net Promoter Score, touted as the “single customer metric you need” and calculated from customers' answer to one simple question about their loyalty, has been in use since 2003 and adopted in a wide variety of settings. However, it has not lived up to its claimed benefits. This article evaluates the NPS approach in terms of its positive and negativ...
Chapter
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The history of Quality Management, and of the role of Statistics in Quality Management, is inextricably bound to the reconstruction of Japan immediately following the Second World War, and then to developments in the United States over three decades later. Even though these periods are, in societal history, just moments ago, yet there is profound l...
Article
This chapter focuses on statistical inference and probability in order to understand statistical quality control. The products are not always made from the same materials. At a minimum they might be made from different parts of the same pile of material. Also they might be made by different machines that do not have exactly the same characteristics...
Article
In modern industry, one of the most important problems occurs in mass production, namely, how to produce all products with the same quality. Random sampling is the most convenient method for monitoring the production status systematically. In the case of sampling inspection sometimes a single lot of inspection items are treated as the population, b...
Article
The manufacturing department needs to have a good understanding of its role in the overall production process by studying the documents and information prepared by the engineering department. Statistical quality control provides a means for management to recover quickly when the manufacturing process to maintain the good quality falls into disorder...
Article
This chapter explains a method that is used to judge the quality of the lot of products or materials. Products are inspected to check whether they have the required characteristics, and separated into acceptable, unacceptable, or defective items. In implementing sampling inspection, the first thing to do is to determine the method of sampling produ...
Preprint
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Net-Promoter Score (NPS) is now ubiquitous as an easily-collected market research metric, having displaced many serious market research processes. Unfortunately, this has been its sole success. It possesses few, if any, of the characteristics that might be regarded as highly desirable in a high-level market research metric; on the contrary, it has...
Article
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This article describes an approach to introducing strategic planning to an enterprise, motivated by a primary focus on creating value for key stakeholders of the enterprise. Two consequences of the approach are that the efforts of the enterprise are aligned in a coherent fashion to achieve targetted external stakeholder impact, and that successful...
Article
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George Michael Tallis was born in Melbourne on 10 August 1931. After private tutoring, he entered Geelong Grammar School at the age of 12 to complete his schooling. He attended Longerenong Agricultural College (Diploma and BSc 1953), before studying Human Genetics at Ohio State University (MS 1956, PhD 1957). He joined Helen Newton Turner’s group i...
Article
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This article describes an approach to planning, monitoring and evaluation research collaborations based on a structured approach to eliciting and measuring the value that each partner seeks to derive from the collaboration. During the phase of formulating the collaborative arrangements, the process can bring clarity to the initial expectations of e...
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Jerome H. Friedman was born in Yreka, California, USA, on December 29, 1939. He received his high school education at Yreka High School, then spent two years at Chico State College before transferring to the University of California at Berkeley in 1959. He completed an undergraduate degree in physics in 1962 and a Ph.D. in high-energy particle phys...
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Jae Chang Lee was born in Chang-Nyoung, South Korea, on 9 August, 1942. After high school, he attended Seoul National University during a period of military dictatorship. As a leader of the student protest movement, he was forced to flee the country. He completed undergraduate and graduate studies at Ohio State University (PhD 1972) in USA and then...
Article
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Stat, a new statistical journal designed for rapid communication of interesting and novel research, was launched in August 2012. During its first year of operation, 21 articles were published on a wide variety of topics and with theory inspired by a diverse range of applications. Additionally, an associated blog, StatBlog, was established with its...
Article
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This article reports on a three-year study to evaluate a new approach to increasing the impact and adoption of new scientific findings and technologies. The purpose of the case study was to monitor the public's perception of the severity of problems posed by invasive animal species and of possible methods of managing them. A real-time ‘moving pictu...
Article
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The red fox Vulpes vulpes is one of the most destructive invasive species in mainland Australia and has recently been introduced to Tasmania. This paper reports the results of a survey conducted in Tasmania in mid-2006, to ascertain the public's views about foxes, their presence in Tasmania and what, if anything, should be done about them if, in fa...
Article
Analytics for Leaders provides a concise, readable account of a complete system of performance measurement for an enterprise. Based on over twenty years of research and development, the system is designed to provide people at all levels with the quantitative information they need to do their jobs: board members to exercise due diligence about all f...
Article
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Jozef Lodewijk Maria Teugels was born in Londerzeel, Belgium, on February 20, 1939. He received his high school education at Sint-Lievenscollege in Antwerp. He obtained a Candidate diploma in Physics in 1961 and a License degree in Mathematics in 1963 at the Catholic University of Louvain. After serving one year in the army, he obtained his MSc in...
Article
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Willem Rutger van Zwet was born in Leiden, the Netherlands, on March 31, 1934. He received his high school education at the Gymnasium Haganum in The Hague and obtained his Masters degree in Mathematics at the University of Leiden in 1959. After serving in the army for almost two years, he obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Amsterdam in 1964, w...
Article
Full-text available
The history of Quality Management, and of the role of Statistics in Quality Management, is inextricably bound to the reconstruction of Japan immediately following the Second World War, and then to developments in the United States over three decades later. Even though these periods are, in societal history, just moments ago, yet there is profound l...
Article
Full-text available
Wasssily Hoeffding's terminal illness and untimely death in 1991 put an end to efforts that were made to interview him for Statistical Science. An account of his scientific work is given in Fisher and Sen [The Collected Works of Wassily Hoeffding (1994) Springer], but the present authors felt that the statistical community should also be told about...
Article
The purpose of this article and a companion article is to explore a number of topics in Statistics in Business and Industry. This article sketches the history of Quality Management, from its emergence in the late 19th and early 20th centuries through to the present day. Particular emphasis is placed on activities in Japan immediately following the...
Article
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We describe methods for constructing bootstrap hypothesis tests, illustrating our approach using analysis of variance. The importance of pivotalness is discussed. Pivotal statistics usually result in improved accuracy of level. We note that hypothesis tests and confidence intervals call for different methods of resampling, so as to ensure that accu...
Article
Technometrics was founded in 1959 as a forum for publishing statistical methods and applications in engineering and the physical and chemical sciences. The expanding role of statistics in industry was a major stimulus, and, throughout the years many articles in the journal have been motivated by industrial problems. In this panel discussion we look...
Article
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SummaryA set of three goodness-of-fit procedures is proposed to investigate the adequacy of fit of Fisher's distribution on the sphere as a model for a given sample of spherical data. The procedures are all based on standard tests using the empirical distribution function.
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summaryA comparison is made af three tests of uniformity for spherical vector data, and of the corresponding tests of uniformity for spherical axial data.
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I welcome discussion of these issues in an international forum. In my view, the Statistics discipline can only make a ''Great Leap Forward'' when it starts taking them seriously. The ISI has an opportunity to play a leadership role, which is part of its purpose. My comments are informed by the experience of the Statistical Society of Australia (SSA...
Article
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This paper, and a companion paper, present some new computer-intensive statistical methods for handling small-sample problems in directional data analysis in areas where existing methods are not valid. Here, we describe ‘bootstrap’ tests for comparing the the mean directions of two or more samples of 2-D or 3-D unit vectors. A case of particular in...
Article
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A common problem in palaeomagnetism is that of deciding whether or not palaeomagnetic specimens sampled from a folded rock surface were magnetized before or after folding occurred. Corresponding problems occur in areas such as structural geology, in testing to see whether cleavage is pre- or post-deformation or in relating cleat generation in coal...
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The usual test for comparing the dispersions of two or more samples of unit vectors from Fisher distributions is not reliable when there are small departures from the Fisherian model. This paper describes another method which is less sensitive to such departures, and gives examples of its use. Similar methods are described for comparing two or more...
Article
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This paper describes a new approach to measuring and monitoring the quality of dialogue between research groups and the wider community about specific scientific matters. It is an adaptation of a proven marketing process for monitoring customer satisfaction: key drivers of community perception are elicited and measured, so that managers can respond...
Article
O wad some Power the giftie gie us ¶ To see oursels as ithers see us! ¶ It wad frae mony a blunder free us, ¶ An' foolish notion: ... ¶ - Robert Burns, ''To a Louse''. ¶ The stated purpose of this conference contains the provocative assertion that ¶ ''[Statistics] does not receive the recognition it needs ... as a vital part of making progress in ....
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Three novel statistical approaches (Cluster Analysis by Regressive Partitioning [CARP], Patient Rule Induction Method [PRIM], and ModeMap) have been used to define compositional populations within a large database (n > 13,000) of Cr-pyrope garnets from the subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM). The variables used are the major oxides and proton...
Article
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Trace element abundances in igneous zircons, as determined by electron microprobe and laser-ablation microprobe ICPMS analysis, are shown to be sensitive to source rock type and crystallisation environment. The concentrations of 26 trace elements have been determined for zircons from a wide range of different rock types and reveal distinctive eleme...
Article
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Over 700 apatite grains from a range of rock types have been analysed by laser-ablation microprobe ICPMS for 28 trace elements, to investigate the potential usefulness of apatite as an indicator mineral in mineral exploration. Apatites derived from different rock types have distinctive absolute and relative abundances of many trace elements (includ...
Article
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This note presents a two-parameter generalization of the Binomial distribution that provides flexibility in simulating discrete finite distributions. The two parameters may be interpreted directly as location and dispersion, making the power binomial family suitable for simulating the sorts of samples that arise in certain forms of customer satisfa...
Article
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The problem of identifying the number of modal groups manifested in a sample of data is of continuing interest and importance in statistical practice. In this paper, we combine features of two current approaches to the mode-testing problem with some new ideas, to produce a method that provides the data analyst with a powerful and flexible way of ex...
Article
This collection of articles stems from an Invited Paper meeting at the 52nd Session of the ISI in Helsinki, August 1999. The purpose of the session was to explore issues likely to be critical to the long-term survival of the discipline, if not the profession, of Statistics. The contributors in the session have all made outstanding contributions to...
Article
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Nonparametric tests of association have been around for a long time, and new ones continue to be proposed to cope with specific forms of association. However, graphs have the potential to assess a far richer class of bivariate dependence structures than any collection of tests. This article describes how chi-plots, used in conjunction with the usua...
Article
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Nonparametric tests of association have been around for a long time, and new ones continue to be proposed to cope with spe- cié c forms of association. However, graphs have the potential to assess a far richer class of bivariate dependence structures than any collection oftests. This article describes howchi-plots, used in conjunction with the usua...
Article
The CSIRO Organisational Performance Measurement (OPM ®) system is based on the principles of Alignment, Process Thinking and Practicability. The system starts at the strategic level to determine external measures driven by stakeholder perspectives of the organisation's performance. The system then works through the organisation to align organisati...
Article
CSIRO Australia is developing an approach for organisational performance measurement to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) better manage their business risk. These enterprises, considered vital to economic growth and job provision, are susceptible to business failure, primarily due to poor risk management associated with inadequately inform...
Article
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Cet article dtcrit une strategie qui requiert la liaison des mesum a toutes les facettes des performances de l'entreprise, en particulier aux resultats escornptks des activitks commerciales. Cette strategie relie d'une manitre naturelle les mesures au processus d'amtlioration de l'entreprise. L'utilisation des statistiques et de la pensreflection s...
Article
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Chrome-pyrope garnet is a minor but widespread phase in ultramafic rocks of the continental lithosphere; it complex chemistry preserves a record of events related to fluid movements in the mantle, including melt extraction and metasomatism. We have examined the major-element and trace-element composition of >12600 Cr-pyrope (Cr2O3 > 1 wt%) xenocrys...
Article
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Many data analytic questions can be formulated as (noisy) optimization problems. They explicitly or implicitly involve finding simultaneous combinations of values for a set of (“input”) variables that imply unusually large (or small) values of another designated (“output”) variable. Specifically, one seeks a set of subregions of the input variable...
Article
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Many data analytic questions can be formulated as (noisy) optimization problems. They explicitly or implicitly involve finding simultaneous combinations of values for a set of ("input") variables that imply unusually large (or small) values of another designated ("output") variable. Specifically, one seeks a set of sub-regions of the input variable...
Article
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A systematic approach to measuring organisational performance is fundamental to the pursuit of business excellence. As such, the area of organisational performance measurement, and its use of data and analysis to inform business decisions, affords statisticians a potentially high value-adding opportunity. To be effective in this area, statisticians...
Article
Full-text available
A systematic approach to measuring organisational performance is fundamental to the pursuit of business excellence. As such, the area of organisational performance measurement, and its use of data and analysis to inform business decisions, affords statisticians a potentially high value-adding opportunity. To be effective in this area, statisticians...
Article
Full-text available
F58.24> = log fi 0 OE log(1 Gamma ff) where fi 0 is the specified minimum box size (7.4). Here it is assumed that the minimum fraction ff of observations is peeled at each iteration of the trajectory. In this case, the number of observations in the current box at the lth step is N l = N(1 Gamma ff) l : For each categorical input variable the comput...
Article
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Samples of directional or axial measurements arise in geophysical, biological and econometric contexts. We represent the rotational difference between two mean directions (or two mean axes) as a direction (or axis). We then construct nonparametric simultaneous confidence sets for all pair-wise rotational differences among the mean directions or mea...
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Geoffrey Stuart Watson, Professor Emeritus at Princeton University, celebrated his 75th birthday on December 3, 1996. A native Australian, his early education included Bendigo High School and Scotch College in Melbourne. After graduating with a B.A. (Hons.) from Melbourne University in December 1942, he spent the next few years, during and after Wo...
Article
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A database of 1267 quality-screened major- and trace-element analyses of chromites (s.l.) from kimberlites, lamproites, ultramafic lamprophyres (UMLs) and crustal sources (‘greenstones’, including ophiolites, gabbros, basalts and komatiites) has been subjected to statistical analysis, in order to derive discriminants for use in diamond exploration....