N.A.S. Technical Services, Inc.
Mathematical/Computer, Statistics, SAS, Technical Contract Services
By Norman A. Spier, Ph.D. (Northampton in Five Colleges Area, MA)
N.A.S. Technical Services, Inc., was a company which had offered the statistics, data-analysis, and statistical/SAS computer-programming, and general math/programming services of myself, it's owner -- Norm Spier, Ph.D. -- to businesses since 1995.
As below, I closed this company, which was CT-chartered, in 2007, upon leaving CT, though I've kept hold of the web site domain name. Under suitable conditions only, I will consider reopenening a similar MA-chartered company, though I am unlikely to return to primarily serving the pharmaceutical industry. (If any are interested, I have left up services, methods, and skills from the old corporation, some distance below on the page.)
NOTE: FORMER COLLEAGUES AND POTENTIAL FUTURE CUSTOMERS:
(8/2012) I am choosing to continue my semi-retired/retired status at this time. As some of you know, this is due mainly to two factors that make it not worthwhile for me to continue my prior work pattern for pharmaceutical companies:
a)Cross-state health insurance transportability and general in-state availability (of solid, permanent insurance) has become yet worse in all states except for Massachusetts (and will remain worse in all states besides Massachusetts until the passed-in-2010 National Health Insurance Reform kicks in in 2014). Further, Republicans at the Congressional and Presidential-candidate level are indicating they will attempt to repeal the law until well after it is supposed to kick in in 2014. Thus, I expect to reject all work in locations besides Massachusetts until, if ever, the National Health Insurance Reform goes into effect and becomes accepted to a point beyond repeal, which seems to be around 2017 at the earliest. (That is, pending outcome of all elections, and public mood, through at least the future Nov. 2016 elections.)
b)The pharmaceutical industry is one of the industries that has responded to potential one-person-contractor-corporation long-duration-contract claims of obligation for fringe benefits (i.e. Microsoft issues) by keeping total initial-contract plus renewal durations short (adding frequent transaction costs and instability making it not worth my while) and with other unacceptable arrangements, such as attempting to obtain my personal services as a W2-employee of an intermediate corporation that is not my own corporation, often with no or inadequate tax-deferred retirement savings and no or inadequate health insurance. (This in contrast to the prior practice of pharmaceutical companies of obtaining services performed by me, and others at my level, through our own corporations, where for example in my own case, I maintained W2 status as employee of my corporation for myself, but where tax-deferred retirement savings was adequate, health insurance was adequate, and further, all appropriate taxes were paid and withheld and all regulations obeyed, by myself acting as CEO of said corporation.)
[I have not ever taken any work under these new arrangements--they are unacceptable.]
Anyway, until such time as perhaps I get bored with what I am currently doing, and something of exceptional interest and economically worthwhile comes along (in all likelihood not for the pharmaceutical industry -- something kind of interesting -- maybe engineering or manufacturing or software or computer/biometric security, or health economics; and in all likelihood here in Massachusetts), I will continue my enjoyable and enriching activities which consists of a good bit of reading (still about 90 or 95 books of interest on my "to read" piles -- as I finish some, new ones come on the pile e.g.).
I've also been doing miscellaneous technical projects of personal interest. Some of these are computer programs, such as the one here, have been getting quite a bit of downloading lately, despite their obscure nature. (These projects have lots of connection to my math and computer science background, and also some my to statistical and probabilistic modelling background, though not much to clinical trials methods!)
I have also been involved in some public policy advocacy.
Former colleagues who I got to know will recall my interests in chamber music and the visual arts. These pursuits have continued (of course!), and there is a good bit of it available locally here in the Five-Colleges area. (As well as a pretty good university library for items of personal and professional interest.)
An added advantage for me of finding continued working in the contract world not profitable is that reduced income saves me quite a bit each year on taxes. (I don't like to shirk responsibilities on the costs of running a society, but sometimes the systems and incentives the society has set up make it pretty impossible to do anything else.)
P.S. I'm glad to see someone finally wrote a book on this for the medical people: (
(I know we all got tired of explaining it.)
STATEMENT OF COMPLETE NON-RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FINANCIAL MELTDOWN:
Though I have roughly the same skills as the quantitative "geniuses" in the finance world who applied probalistic models that obviously didn't apply and caused the meltdown, (
And the meltdown wasn't the first time:
I proclaim my innocence, as I have never worked in finance or banking.
Further, if I had been working in finance, my clear-thinking, rigorous math background, and unusual moral rectitude would have had me going around saying "you believe this stuff?" and I would have been canned in short order.
Formerly located in Western CT and New York State, we have just relocated (2/10) to Northampton, MA (80 miles west of Boston). Note that the new site has redundant methods of high-speed internet access, to support reliable (encryptable) data transfer and other communication.
I perform projects with either a part-time or full-time time commitment, depending on customer need and my availability. Work is generally at my site (remote- or CRO- arrangement) with visits as needed to your site. Billing is usually by the hour, but can be per-task. (At this point in my career, after many years of successful and financially rewarding contract work on a full-time basis, I am spending some time working on personal mathematics/computer and statistical/epidemiological projects. Thus, part-time work is welcomed and slightly preferred.)
For the computer analysis part of the work, my main concentration is SAS-based work, which I have over 15 years experience at. I also have worked to a lesser extent with SQL/Oracle, S-PLUS, C++, Java, and the interfaces between these languages.
I have extensive (over 15 years of) clinical trial analysis experience. On a given project, I do whichever is needed of statistical analysis, statistically-related programming, or both. The work is most often the production of the desired product, but it has also been validation or checking of the product after it was done by someone else.
I also can work in, and have some interest in, other interesting areas of application. (Here is a recent personal project which was fun to do.)
I have particular experience at analysis involving large amounts of somewhat disparate data (assessing and carrying out the needed data unifications into a common structure -- e.g. 6, 10, 20, 37 studies). I also have substantial experience at graphical analysis methods. Freqently these have been polished-looking, high-information-content outputs, attained by use of basic SAS graphics directives (GANNOTATE, GSLIDE) in addition to, or as an alternative to, the higher level routines (GPLOT, etc.).
I am especially skilled at crossing the statistics / computer programming communication barrier. I am respected for my careful, systematic approach, as well as for accuracy, and the ability to document complicated multi-study projects accurately. The systematic approach often yields high efficiency, in the sense of being able to output large numbers of consistent and accurate analyses with a small number of well-thought-out programs.
Experience has been in both efficacy and safety, for both single and combined studies. A good amount of the safety work was done in the environment of the large amount of regulatory safety reactions affecting many drugs in the aftermath of the Vioxx incident.
Note: We have had previous business and reputational success in an arrangement with most work done on-site, with one very satisfied customer with a 5-year full-time engagement, and another with a 3-year full-time engagement. However, in recent years, the legal departments of most of the types of companies we serve have become concerned with a possibility of lawsuits based on a remote and vague legal obligation to supply fringe-benefits in such a situation. At the request of several prior clients, to address their issues in a fashion which they believe is the most efficient with the least added cost, we have adjusted our own method of servicing clients. We no longer accept contracts where work is done primarily at the customer's site, and instead work primarily at my site. (Also, with regard to such legal issues, note that NAS Technical Services, Inc. does and always has maintained a Keough pension plan at the maximum contribution rate for its employee (Norm Spier), and does and always has maintained full comprehensive health insurance.)
HAVE THESE GENERAL SKILLS:
HAVE WORKED WITH THESE COMPUTER LANGUAGES:
HAVE WORKED WITH THESE OPERATING SYSTEMS:
WORK CAN BE PERFORMED
ABOUT NORM SPIER
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