Collaborating with Statistics Netherlands towards a data driven society

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) Data Science Campus is keen to collaborate with partner organisations both in the UK and abroad on projects which push the boundaries of data science for public good.

One of the first high-level agreements we signed was with Statistics Netherlands, who held the formal launch of their own Center for Big Data Statistics on 27 September 2016 – exactly 6 months before the launch of the Data Science Campus.


We took the opportunity of our launch event to invite Sofie De Broe and Piet Daas from Statistics Netherlands to give a presentation on the Center’s work. They provided several examples of their projects – such as 3D visualisations of income data, identifying web-only shops, estimating “social tension” from Twitter, and using road sensor data to assess traffic intensity and its relationship to economic growth.

The Director General of Statistics Netherlands, Tjark Tjin-A-Tsoi, also attended the Campus launch and signed an extended Memorandum of Understanding with the UK National Statistician, John Pullinger.

This agreement spelled out various ways in which the two national statistical institutes can work together, including staff exchange, providing learning and development opportunities, and investigating Big Data sources to develop new policy insights.

Sofie and Piet returned to the Campus the following day to meet the team and discuss some of the ways that the two organisations could work together on projects and help each other to build data science capability.

We had already been working with the Statistics Netherlands “Center” on a data science project, which is seeking to provide new insights on the tourism industry from Big Data sources. Examples of potential topics for further collaboration included energy transition in cities and gaps in labour market supply and demand.

We actively welcome interest from other international agencies engaged in data science for the public good.

If you have an idea for a project and are interested in collaborating with us, please get in touch.