The name of this Methodology is somewhat misleading. A more appropriate name would be “simulationists” because it is the Statisticians who spend most of their time pouring numbers and facts into immense databases; sifting them for possibilities of meaning, disturbing patterns, underlying representations, and echoes of larger issues.
It seems an odd past-time for the Clockwork Convention but if you look at some of their underlying beliefs, especially of the more deist members, then understanding the functioning of God's creation and tool helps manipulate the tool better and even understand what the tool is actually for. Discovering patterns that forecast future events is just an obvious outcome of such studies.
One could say the Statisticians first came into being when the first humans began to codify and structure their theories about life. This is a particularly important distinction to note; the codification and structure of what is unknown allows a person to apply human intellect to the understanding of the universe. This is exactly what the Statisticians are hinged on, and what their eventual goal is: understanding all that is unknown.
Few Statisticians made it into history books because it's difficult to hide one’s advantages in prediction and modeling from the Sleepers. It's more than possible that stories about great seers and their fantastic methods of throwing bones and other objects, writing strange languages, and putting together extremely complex astrological charts were, in fact, confounded tales of early Statisticians and not actually stories about soothsayers and witches. From the vague accounts of their abilities and methods it can be hard to sa, but the power to tell the future by studying strange, obscure patterns certainly sounds like the MO of the Statisticians.
The three main goals of the Methodology are gathering data and compiling databases, modeling and forecasting from that data, and then putting that information to use. If the data isn't used or explored in some way it's useless... dead data. Obviously computers are integral to all of these operations. This puts the Methodology in direct conflict with the Virtual Adepts both in the Meat World and in the Digital Web.
Because of the vast amounts of understanding necessary for a Statistician to do his or her job effectively, most of the membership is multi-focus. There is great need for the Armatures to be not simply stuck to a keyboard. Beyond the expected statisticians, analysts, programmers and software designers, the Methodology contains an extensive number of pollsters, futurists and other data-gatherers, as well as psychologists, sociologists and straight engineers. Their diversity is only rivaled by the Time-Motion Managers.
Sphere Focus Edit
The main Sphere for Statisticians is obviously Entropy. Some, however, depending on their field of expertise, may focus on Time (futurists), Forces, (software designers and programers), Correspondence (Computer specialists), or Mind (psychologists, sociologists, and pollsters).
Statisticians tend to hold the majority of leadership roles in the Convention if only for the fact that their studies tend to make them better suited for deciding the path for the Convention as a whole. Few challenge their role, though tensions can run high at times with the Time-Motion Managers when questions arise of where the Convention should go compared to how they should get there.
They can be seen as too "hands-off" and distant by their co-conventionists. Often caught up in ideal worlds and models, they can be seem disconnected from how things really are by the more hands-on methodologies, especially the Macrotechnicians.
Within the Methodology itself there is an increased push for research on advanced neural networks and parallel/ distributed computation, making part of the Computer’s innate capabilities accessible not only to Technocratic researchers but to the Sleepers as well. This has led to huge strides forward; more, even, than the Statisticians’ original models predicted, in the technology. Some members are agitating strongly for an even bolder advancement of the Five Year Plan to see if similar results from hybrid research teams are on the way. Most of these scientists focus in the field of emergent non-linear systems and are already expresseing doubts that there is any validity to the extremely linear extrapolation methods used in the Plan to date.