Showcase & Special Sessions

Statistics in Practice

Instructor 1: Marc Vandemeulebroecke, Global Group Head, Novartis Analytics Department
Instructor 2: Mark Baillie, Director Data Scientist - Advanced Methodology and Data Science Group at Novartis

Effective Visual Communication for Quantitative Scientists

Effective visual communication (EVC) is a core competency for all scientists who work with data, such as statisticians, pharmacometricians, epidemiologists, data scientists, etc. By using the right graphical principles, we can better understand data, highlight core insights, and influence decisions toward appropriate actions. Without them, we can mislead others and ourselves and pave the way to wrong conclusions and actions.

The aim of this course is to provide a deep dive into EVC for quantitative scientists through a series of case studies and hands-on exercises, focusing on the key principles of Purpose, Clarity and Message. Illustrative examples will be drawn from medical research, but the course is designed to be general for all quantitative experts communicating data, analyses, and conclusions. The course will help put the three EVC principles into practice through active learning, with the tutors acting as facilitators. Hands-on exercises will allow participants to work on problems relevant to their own projects. The course will be hands-on and fun, with lots of drawing and interaction.

The course requires no prior knowledge. We will recommend the participants (but not mandatory) to
• Watch the 4 minute EVC video
• Become familiar with the Graphics Principles Cheat sheet
• Read the EVC Tutorial

All available here:

Also recommended is to select (and ideally print) a graph from one of their current or previous projects that they will want to work on improving during the hands-on sessions.

Learning Objectives
• Appreciate why effective visual communication (EVC) is a key competency for the quantitative scientist.
• Explain the three principles of EVC (purpose, clarity and message).
• Design a visualization based on a specific purpose.
• Redesign a visualization to show data clearly.
• Enhance the message of a visualization.
• Recognize where to apply the three principles of effective visual communication in your daily work.

Equipment Required
Participants should bring colored pencils & paper.

About the Instructors

Mark Baille is a Director Data Scientist in the Advanced Methodology and Data Science group at Novartis. He is a methodologist supporting the clinical development and analytics department at Novartis. He has a focus on data visualization working on a number of internal and external initiatives to improve the reporting of clinical trials and observational studies.

Marc Vandemeulebroecke is a Global Group Head in Novartis’ Analytics department. He holds a PhD in mathematical statistics from the University of Magdeburg and an MSc in PKPD modeling & simulation from the University of Manchester. He received the Gustav-Adolf-Lienert award from the German Region of the International Biometric Society (IBS). Marc’s interests range from adaptive clinical trials to effective statistical graphics, statistical and machine learning, and developing effective teams of statisticians.

Mark and Marc are part of a team engaged in improving the practice of quantitative graphics through sharing and teaching. We have presented with RStudio and taught a short course with ASCPT (similar to the one we propose for IBC), and we are co-leading various related efforts internally at Novartis.


Young Statisticians Showcase

The Young Statisticians Showcase is an important part of the International Biometric Conference (IBC). If you are currently an MSc or PhD candidate or graduated with one of these degrees in 2019 or later, you are eligible to enter the competition.

Five papers (one each from Africa, Asia & Australasia, Europe, North America, and South America) will be selected for presentation in the Young Statistician Showcase session. The winners will each receive a stipend of $3,000.00 USD to cover their expenses in attending IBC2022 in Riga, Latvia on July 10-15, 2022.

Showcase Application Details

All those interested in applying should follow the instructions below:

  • Submit their contributed paper abstract through the IBC abstract submission site and indicate that they are applying for the Young Statisticians Showcase Competition. Papers should meet the guidelines of the IBC abstract submission guidelines.
  • Applicants will be asked to submit a PDF of their submitted paper, no later than one week after the abstract submission deadline on September 30, 2021.
    • Papers are due to by 8 October 2021. This deadline with change if an extension to the abstract submission date is granted. 
    • Papers submitted must be no longer than 4 pages and must contain original work that has not yet been published, has not been the subject of any other award, and is predominantly student's own work. The applicant must be the leading author of the paper. 
    • Applications analysis qualify only if the analysis has methodological implications or shows a novel and interesting application of statistics to an area of the biosciences, including health, agricultures, or ecology. 
  • The applicant will also be responsible for attaching a letter from their supervisor, or former supervisor, on official letterhead of the student's institution, confirming that the student is registered for (or obtained since the start of 2019_ a graduate or post-graduate degree, and that the paper to be presented is original, neither previously published, not the subject of any other award and is predominantly the student's own work. 
  • The applicant should also attach a short statement of the financial need and the importance of participation in the IBC2022 Conference (no more than 500 words). 
  • Only one paper per student will be accepted.
  • Applicants should be a student member of the International Biometric Society. 

Selection process:
All submitted papers will be reviewed by a committee of five judges. Five papers, one from each of the five continental areas (Africa, North America, South America, Europe, and Australasia), will be selected based on the following criteria: clarity, innovation, methodology, and application aspects in addition to submitted supporting documents. each paper will be independently judged by at least two judges. 

Awardees will be informed in February 2022 and will be asked to prepare an oral presentation at the Young Statisticians Showcase during the IBC2022. If any awardee is unable to attend, the committee will have the option to select another applicant.

Host Region Special Invited Session

-- Coming soon

Biometrics Showcase

-- Coming soon

JABES Showcase

-- Coming soon

IBS / ISI Young Ambassador Showcase

-- Coming soon