Microsimulation & Machine Learning with Official Statistics Data

With Hanna Brenzel, Hariolf Merkle, Marco Puts, and Piet Daas
Online, Meetings: Nov 2, Nov 9, Nov 23, Nov 30

How can we make use of new data sources and data science methods to enhance statistics?

This online course provides an overview of advanced topics in official statistics such as Big Data, machine learning, and microsimulations.

You will gain insight into microsimulation and get an overview of its development and current state-of-the-art microsimulation methods. We will also showcase applications within official statistics.

We will discuss benefits and downsides of using Big Data as a data source for official statistics production and provide examples of its use, including machine learning applications.

You will apply the techniques conveyed in this course in hands-on assignments in R.

Learn online on a flexible schedule

This is an online course. Each week you will..

  • watch the weekly videos (~60 min),
  • review the assigned readings,
  • work on the (R) assignments,
  • discuss the material in the weekly online meeting with the instructors from destatis and Statistics Netherlands, and fellow course participants (~60 min).

Online Meetings
Thursday, November 02, 2023, 05:00 PM – 06:00 PM CET
Thursday, November 09, 2023, 05:00 PM – 06:00 PM CET
Thursday, November 16, 2023: NO MEETING
Thursday, November 23, 2023, 05:00 PM – 06:00 PM CET
Thursday, November 30, 2023, 05:00 PM – 06:00 PM CET


Basic R knowledge is required. You should be able to handle data (data.frames, vectors, lists) using base R and be familiar with the application of functions in general and the generation of graphs. The first two units will make use at least of the packages simPop, laeken, sampling and ggplot2.

About the Instructor

While Hanna Brenzel, who leads the department at the Federal Statistical Office, holds a doctorate in economics, Hariolf Merkle, who has a Master’s degree in survey statistics, is a Data Scientist at the Deutsche Bundesbank. Dr. Marco Puts, on the other hand, is a Methodologist and Lead Data Scientist at the Central Statistics Office in Heerlen and a Guest Researcher at Radboud University in Nijmegen. Piet Daas is a Methodologist and Professor of Big Data in Official Statistics at Eindhoven University of Technology, specializing as a Data Scientist.