This paper is from Session 5F: Bridging the gap between current statistical practice in the workplace and modern statistics
Full topic list
which comes under Topic 5: Statistics education in the disciplines and the workplace

(Monday 14th, 16:15-17:45)

Training to develop modern statistics in the workplace using R and R Commander – experiences from the New Zealand government sector



  • Peter Ellis (Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, New Zealand)


There is growing demand for robust, quantitative support for policy development and measurement of outcomes. In tandem, there are increasing challenges and opportunities from new ways of collecting data, often in massive quantities. Key modern statistical skills required in our workplaces include graphing and data exploration and visualisation; modelling, especially the linear model and its extensions, with emphasis on effect sizes rather than tests; designing and appropriate analysis of both small and “big” data; and application of statistical software/computing to support these. One strategy for dealing with these needs and challenges in the workplace is to increase skills of non-statisticians in the workplace. We describe our experiences in carrying training focussed on two contrasting government departments, and explain why and how we have used R and R Commander software as key elements.