September 18, 2022
  • September 18, 2022

R statistical software at the heart of the CBS conference

By on July 4, 2018 0

Adopted all over the world

CBS has been using R since 2010. As an official statistical institute, CBS was one of the first to use this software in statistical production. CBS methodologist Mark van der Loo explains: “We use it everywhere, from national accounts to smaller-scale statistics. Van der Loo has followed the development of R for over a decade and he is a major driving force behind the organization of this conference. It explains why R is adopted around the world by so many statisticians, methodologists and data scientists, and what makes R so suitable for producing official statistics. “Because this is open source software, as an INS, we can easily share the software with each other. As long as you make firm agreements on definitions and measurement methods, you will also get better comparability of the numbers. In addition, this solution is inexpensive and provides support to users in the form of a global community. The main characteristics of R are that it is expandable, flexible and open. ‘

“By organizing uRos2018, we are firmly establishing CBS as a high quality knowledge institute”

Traveling conference

Conferences on the use of R in official statistics have been organized annually since 2013 – first locally, then internationally – by the Romanian National Institute of Statistics. As a regular visitor to these conferences, Van der Loo was able to convince the Romanian INS that it was important for the conference to take place in host countries alternately, to disseminate knowledge of this product throughout the world. “By rotating the host country, participants and speakers can join more networks and meet face to face. This is how you can make the conference grow. Together with his CBS colleagues Tine Heijstraten (event manager) and Martin van Sebille (policy support), Van der Loo is working on the conference at CBS in The Hague. “We organize it in consultation with colleagues from INS in Romania and Austria. Like the Netherlands, Austria was one of the first countries to adopt R. ‘


Van der Loo is excited about the conference program, which will include presentations by two R specialists: Alina Matei from the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland) and developer Jeroen Ooms from the University of California at Berkeley. In addition, there will be six tutorials and 50 presentations for the expected 80-100 participants. It will also be the first time that a two-day hackathon will be organized before the start of the conference. “For this hackathon, we are asking users what they lack in R. The challenge then is to find and develop a solution for this within two days. The knowledge gained during the hackathon can then be shared during the conference. ‘

CBS firmly established

For CBS Events Manager Tine Heijstraten, the international conference is not just any event. “The fact that this is the first outfit outside of Romania is quite a trigger for me,” she said. “It’s very special that the Netherlands are the first to welcome him.” Together with his colleagues, Heijstraten created the website for conference registration. They also take care of the social program and logistics. What are the conditions for a large conference? “The program should be varied, it should not just be about providing information but about involving the participants, with something for everyone. As co-organizer Martin van Sebille points out, this was taken care of at the R conference in an excellent way. “Just like internal and external communication thereafter. By organizing uRos2018, we are firmly establishing CBS as a high quality knowledge institute. ‘

For more information or to register for uRos2018:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.