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Welcome to the MGH Biostatistics Center Interactive Introduction to Biostatistics!!

The Introduction to Biostatistics is designed to provide researchers at MGH with the tools necessary to complete basic statistical analysis. This introduction consists of five main sections:

Basic Clinical Statistics

In this section, we provide new clinical researcher a basic introduction to biostatistical concepts and terms by describing how to organize a dataset for analysis, how to summarize or graph data, how to assess if there is a relationship between variables and how to determine the sample size required for a future study. If you are new to clinical research, we suggest you start here to learn or review some important concepts. GO »

Key to Statistical Tests

In this section, we provide a step-by-step approach in the "Choose your own adventure" style to choose the appropriate statistical analysis for your data. In addition to providing you with an appropriate analysis, a demonstration of how to complete each statistical analysis in several statistical software programs is also shown. If you are new to clinical research, we suggest that you start with this approach to choosing a statistical test. GO »

Table for Statistical Tests

In this section, we provide a table format with a more compact approach to choose the best analysis for your data. As in the Key to Statistical Tests, a demonstration of how to complete each analysis in statistical software is provided. GO »

Power and Sample Size

In this section, we provide a step-by-step approach to perform a power or sample size calculation for several different study designs. In addition, web-based power or sample size calculators that work on the desktop, mobile phone, and tablet are provided for several common scenarios. GO »


  • For researchers who do not have access to a statistical software package, the Biostatistics Center has established the Biostatistics Computing Lab and Library. In the lab, a computer that is connected to the Partners Network has several statistical software packages available (PASS, R, SAS, STATA). The lab is located in Suite 560 of 50 Staniford Street. If you know in advance times you would like to use it, you can reserve it through the online calendar (in Outlook, Public Folders > Partners > MGH > Biostatistics > Stats Computing Lab). Otherwise, the lab is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The MGH Biostatistics Center reserves the right to re-schedule users who are using the lab to the exclusion of others.
  • For researchers who need additional assistance completing their statistical analysis, Harvard Catalyst provides free statistical consulting. Please schedule a consultation.
  • For researchers with specific questions about the concepts or computer code provided on the website, please contact us. GO »