6th International Conference – the Use of R in Official Statistics uRos2018

Nicoleta Caragea

A couple of years ago, a small enthusiastic team with members working in different fields of official statistics in Romania and from academics met together the same goals: to increase the use of R in official statistics. Since 2013, when the first time R has been used in experimental research in official statistics, the activities on R increased not only in methodological research, but also in statistical production. Also, since 2013 started the annual conferences “The Use of R in Official Statistics” (uRos).
The 2018 edition of uRos marked the first occasion outside of the place where it was conceived: Romania. Hence we are pleased to announce the International Conference uRos2018 (September 10-14, 2018), organized in Netherlands, the Hague, together with CBS (Centraal Bureau Voor De Statistiek). The partners of the conference were Statistics Austria, University of Bucharest and Ecological University of Bucharest.
uRos series is promoting the use and development in official statistics of R and other environments that integrate the R functionalities.
The 2018 edition brought together 100 statisticians and professionals from official statistics and academia from 32 countries (South Africa, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Korea, Denmark, Switzerland, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, USA, Tanzania, Hungary) located on 6 continents. Moreover, we had as guests representatives from Eurostat and other international organizations (OECD, World Bank, Bureau for Labour Statistics USA).
Throughout the six editions of the event, the international participation has increased exponentially, from 6 countries in 2014 to 32 countries in 2018.
The conference included parallel sessions with 60 presentations and 5 tutorials. The agenda also included a section of innovation projects on topics from various fields of official statistics, commonly called unConf.
In the openning, Wim van Nunspeet (Director of Corporate Services, IT and Methodology Department) from CBS underlined the importance of the event for the development of official statistics and high-level international collaboration.
The first keynote speaker was Alina Matei, author of R package sampling and professor at University from Neuchâtel, Switzerland. In her presentation „Sample and coordination” she exposed a method for coordinating samples for statistical surveys.
The second keynote speaker was Jerome Ooms (the official maintainer for R for Windows). His presentation was about the infrastructure behind R and external libraries.
The output projects of unConf covered the following areas: 1) R wrapper for PDOK location server, 2) Categorical: a better factor, 3) Graphical frontend for the R package ‚validate’ and 4) R package for voronoi treemaps with added interactivity by shiny.
The conference has included one full day of tutorials lectured by prestigious professionals from official statistics, authors of R packages and authors of important methodologies highly used in worldwide official statistics:

1. Spatial Analysis in R with open Geodata
Lecturers: Egge-Jan Pollé and Willy Tadema (Tensing GIS Consultants,
Provincie Groningen, Netherlands)
2. So your data is Tidy, but is it Clean?
Lecturers: Edwin de Jonge and Mark van der Loo (CBS, Netherlands)
3. Fast and efficient data manipulation with data.table
Lecturer: Jaap Walhout (CBS, Netherlands)
4. Plotting Spatial data in R
Lecturer: Martjn Tennekes (CBS, Netherlands)
5. Use of R package SamplingStrata for the Optimal Stratification of Sampling Frames for Multipurpose Sampling Surveys
Lecturer: Giulio Barcaroli (ISTAT, Italy)

The scientific event included 11 parallel sessions: Sampling and estimation, R in organization, Data cleaning, R in production: data analysis, Methods for official statistics, Shiny applications, Time series, Report and GUI programming, R in production: automation, Big data and Dissemination and visualization.
The conference was an opportunity to develop new ideas and cooperation in the field of official statistics and academia. The event enabled once again the significant role of National Institute of Statistics in the official statistics.
The presentations of the Conference uRos2018 are available at the following website: www.urosconf.org.
A selection of research papers have been published in the this issue of
Romanian Statistical Review and in a special issue of Austrian Journal of Statistics.
Quality of the works presented, high research activity carried out by the authors, and the results may be as many strong points of reference, to conclude that Romania is on the map of useRs.
R-omanian R team together with the organizers from Netherlands and Austria want to thank to all the participants for sharing their experience and knowledge and for engaging with this great conference.

Website: www.urosconf.org
Twitter: @urosconf

Romanian Statistical Review 4/2018