Join us at the next Wellington R Users Group meeting on 16 August 2017.  As advocates for R, Harmonic is proud to sponsor these events. This months presentation is very topical with the upcoming general election.   The R Users Group is co-hosted by Shirley Wu, Chief Operations Officer, Harmonic Analytics  and Conrad, Senior Analyst, Social Investment Agency.

- (via Meetup)

6:00 - 6:05pm     Meet & Greet 
6.05 - 6:50pm     Forecasting the New Zealand General Election with R and Stan

Presenter:  Peter Ellis

Venue:  Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE), 15 Stout Street, Wellington

Presentation Focus

Peter's website features two statistical models that provide probabilistic forecasts for the coming New Zealand election.  One is a Bayesian state space model, and the other is based on a set of generalized additive models.  Both are implemented in R in combination with the modelling language Stan, and draw on polling data and previous election results from his 'nzelect' R package.  In this talk he'll go through the reasoning and assumptions behind the two models and explore a few implementation issues, ranging from optimising code to bring convergence times to a reasonable length, to the logistics of screen-scraping Wikipedia for the latest poll results.  This talk is in Peter's personal capacity, and the analysis is not related to any employers past or present.


Peter is a Principal Data Scientist in a public sector agency.  Previous roles have included Manager Sector Trends at Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and Director of Program Evaluation for the Australian overseas aid program.  In the past six years he has been a leading advocate for the use of R and better analytical practice in the New Zealand public sector. His blog on data and statistics issues using R at was recently rated the 13th best statistics blog on the web, and he has several R packages published on CRAN. 

Find out more about the R Users Group contact:   Shirley Wu.