Reflecting on the work of the Community in 2023

December 15, 2023

Join us as we take a look back on 2023, highlighting some of the most important contributions, events, and progress made within the Community and beyond.

The Community marked the beginning of the year by celebrating the first anniversary of the .Stat Academy and highlighting the continued addition of new courses, with more to come in 2023. Additionally, a number of video tutorials walking users through the latest features and functionalities of the .Stat Suite were published. We also launched the “Meet the .Stat Suite Team” campaign on X (formally Twitter), for the Community to learn more about who is behind the .Stat Suite and their roles in supporting our open-source project.

The Community came together for a two-day workshop at the OECD headquarters in February 2023. The hybrid event brought more than 50 participants from members, key partners such as Eurostat, BIS, ECB and UNSD, and invited experts to Paris. The results of the usability test campaign and SWOT analysis, which were undertaken in the weeks prior to the workshop, certified that the .Stat Data Explorer has a leading edge over comparable platforms.

In March we sat down for an interview with Edgardo Greising, Head of the Knowledge Management Solutions Unit at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Chair of the SDMX Technical Working Group (TWG). We spoke about ILO’s experience with the .Stat Suite, what challenges the ILO encountered, and what future he sees for the Community. Furthermore, Eric Anvar, OECD Head of Smart Data shared some key points from the Eurostat conference on New Techniques and Technologies for Statistics.

April was a busy month that included a reflection on data hubs with Stéphane Crête from Statistic Canada, the launch of a new .Stat Academy course (SDMX vocabulary for beginners), and a recap from the 4th UN World Data Forum in Hangzhou, China, from our Community manager, Jonathan Challener.

My Highlight of 2023 is the positive feedback I received for the .Stat Academy course on SDMX vocabulary for beginners. It already has more than 200 enroled learners. I’m currently working on a new course Disseminating data with an optimised end-user experience, and I hope it will be appreciated as well. 
Jens Dossé, Head of Section, Smart Data Solution

In May we zoomed in on many different topics including a pilot project on geospatial analysis led by our Community member ABS in collaboration with ESRI. We also organised the third in a series of Community workshops on software quality assurance in the .Stat Suite, which reconfirmed that the greatest strength of the community is the ability to co-innovate and co-invest according to a common vision by sharing resources, knowledge, and experiences.

All things SDMX! June focused on the significance of SDMX exploring various collaborations that utilise SDMX at the core, such as the SDMX Power BI Connector, which received official certification from Microsoft in March 2023, and a review of the SDMX User Forum, launched in late 2022, where valuable discussions and insights continue to be shared. Additionally, we discussed the expanding selection of free .Stat Academy courses that supports capacity building in the .Stat Suite and data modelling in SDMX. David Barraclough, manager of SDMX and Data Modeling at the OECD and chair of the SDMX Statistical Working Group, dived into the recently published Reference Framework for SDMX Structural Metadata Governance, shedding light on its importance and implications for the SDMX community at large.

During July and August, we took a trip around the world to discover the many Labour Market Information Systems (LMIS) now being launched and powered by the .Stat Suite. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is actively supporting more than 25 countries including, El Salvador, Uruguay, Chile, Namibia, and South Africa. We continued the What’s new in the .Stat Academy series with two new videos showcasing improvements in the .Stat Data Explorer search features: stemming, synonyms, stop words, ranking score, and enhanced filtering and advanced selections.

I’m particularly proud of the fact that several statistical organisations from outside of the core members successfully deployed the .Stat Suite to support the modernisation of dissemination in their country. One example of this is the project with NSO Maldives, supported by UNESCAP, that went live ahead of the SDMX GC.

Eric Anvar, Head of Smart Data

In September we took a glimpse into the upcoming 9th SDMX Global Conference in Bahrain, where Community members were to present on various topics bringing forward innovative insights and foster collaboration within the SDMX community. Additionally, we unveiled the new .Stat Suite logo, showcasing a refreshed identity for this innovative open-source platform for official statistics.

UNICEF’s “How Many” was the featured story in October, showcasing how SDMX brings this advanced search tool built on a Natural Language Processing algorithm to life. ‘How Many’ brings UNICEF’s golden standard data on the situation of children closer to the public and shows how SDMX metadata can enhance data accessibility.

In November we delved into the 9th SDMX Global Conference, highlighting the extensive contributions and positive impact from our members and partners. Additionally, the newsletter recognised the success of the community side event, “Making change happen with SDMX“. The Community also emphasised fostering a user-centered design culture for better product development launching the User Task Force that aims to develop user-centred design workflows and products by establishing satisfying user journeys and delivering integrated continuous user feedback processes.

As the newest member of the Smart Data Solutions team, there were many challenges for me this year, but I take them as opportunities to keep improving myself, my team, our products, and our processes. In our road to a successful user satisfaction on .Stat Suite products, we have experimented in different ways by involving users along the process, including the launch of the User Research Task Force. I can’t wait to converge more with SIS-CC members on user research activities.

Laura Belli, Digital Product Manager

As we approach the end of this remarkable year, we want to take a moment to express our gratitude to all our members, partners, and extended Community. The successes we have achieved together over the past year would not have been possible without your continued dedication and support.

We would also like to acknowledge that there were countless other projects and news that could not be mentioned here, but their importance is not forgotten. Each contribution, no matter the size, has left an indelible mark on the Community’s journey towards excellence.

Looking ahead to 2024, we are filled with anticipation and excitement. Building upon the successes of 2023, we are committed to achieving even more together. The new year promises new projects and initiatives that will continue to shape our Community.