Developing introductory training in R Ria Sanderson, Duncan Elliott, ONS

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<ul><li> Slide 1 </li> <li> Developing introductory training in R Ria Sanderson, Duncan Elliott, ONS </li> <li> Slide 2 </li> <li> Outline Introduction to R R at ONS Motivation Project to develop R training Pilot courses Course review Lessons learned Project summary Next steps </li> <li> Slide 3 </li> <li> Introduction to R Open source software package for: - Statistical analysis - Programming - Graphics Many functions provided by add-on packages written by users In use by other National Statistical Institutes (NSIs) </li> <li> Slide 4 </li> <li> R at ONS Group of methodologists and IT specialists established in 2011 to explore use of R Carried out a series of pilot projects considering the use of R: -for methodology -in other National Statistics Institutes -as a disclosure tool -for processing administrative data -producing standard graphics </li> <li> Slide 5 </li> <li> R at ONS Concluded that R is a useful tool for research purposes Used as a research tool for research in: spatial analysis small area estimation time series analysis sample design &amp; estimation </li> <li> Slide 6 </li> <li> Motivation Previously carried out a series of internal training courses Training very informal, evolved rather than developed Information from GSS HoPs indicated R is in use for research and statistics Self-taught or learnt through web resources </li> <li> Slide 7 </li> <li> Motivation Identified an opportunity to develop training: For those departments interested in using R For those departments already using R In 2013, sought Quality Improvement Fund (QIF) funding to develop training in R for the GSS </li> <li> Slide 8 </li> <li> Project Objectives The project had two main objectives: to provide the GSS with basic skills in R, building a platform from which GSS departments could individually assess whether R meets their statistical needs to address the current gap in the provision of training in R that is tailored to GSS requirements Focus of the training was on using R for analysis and graphics </li> <li> Slide 9 </li> <li> Project Objectives Expected benefits included: wider use of open source software greater collaboration across GSS use of new methods &amp; analysis tools </li> <li> Slide 10 </li> <li> The Project The project sought to develop two training courses: Introduction to R for those who have little or no experience in using R who want to learn how to use R for statistical analysis Introduction to graphics using R for those who have a basic knowledge of R and who want to learn how to produce graphs in R </li> <li> Slide 11 </li> <li> Project Outcomes The desired project outcomes were: To develop the course material To pilot each course by offering them to the GSS To review the course material based on participant feedback The project was carried out during the financial year 2013/14 Pilot courses were held at ONS, Newport </li> <li> Slide 12 </li> <li> Pilot courses Expressions of interest were gathered via GSS HoPs and GSS website Asked for additional information on: Programming experience Experience of using statistical software Types of data and analysis routinely used 34 expressions of interest received Covered 14 departments, executive agencies and devolved administrations </li> <li> Slide 13 </li> <li> Pilot courses Introduction to R fully booked 8 participants, 7 departments represented More difficult to fill Introduction to graphics using R Timing Travel and subsistence costs Coincided with severe winter storms Offered to those with no prior experience in R (provided with additional material in advance) 6 departments represented </li> <li> Slide 14 </li> <li> Pilot courses Courses designed to be interactive Course slides contained descriptive material and R code Participants could run the R code during the course A series of exercises gave further hands-on experience of using R </li> <li> Slide 15 </li> <li> Participant feedback Group discussions Feedback forms Participants rated course as good or excellent Participants agreed or strongly agreed that they would recommend the course to others Level of difficulty and number of exercises deemed to be just right </li> <li> Slide 16 </li> <li> Course review Too much material in Introduction to R Afternoon session was not completed in time Some duplication identified Amount of material reduced and duplication removed Final session not completed in Introduction to graphics using R Tutor led session contained too much material Revised into essentials and optional extras </li> <li> Slide 17 </li> <li> Lessons learned Courses held in Newport due to availability of computer training facilities with R installed Requirement to fund travel deterred some Start times affected by travel disruption In future, will re-consider location and start time based on participants Introduction to graphics required some previous knowledge of R In future, offer courses on consecutive days </li> <li> Slide 18 </li> <li> Project summary Project ran to time and on budget Level of expressions of interest very encouraging Two courses successfully developed and piloted Courses will be offered to GSS Unexpected benefits sharing experiences of installing and managing the use of R </li> <li> Slide 19 </li> <li> Next steps Courses will be offered through Statistical Training Unit Courses will run again in 2014 on consecutive days Courses will be offered regularly from 2015 </li> <li> Slide 20 </li> <li> Quality Improvement Fund 14/15 Round 2 is now open for bids Closing date is midnight on 18 th July Any funds allocated must be spent in this financial year For more detail and for bid templates, see the GSS website </li> <li> Slide 21 </li> <li> Contacts For more information on R training: statistical.training.enquiries@ons.gov.uk For more information on the use of R at ONS: ria.sanderson@ons.gov.uk For more information on R: www.r-project.org </li> </ul>