January 2023 Webinar: Create reproducible and accessible spreadsheets with {a11ytables} – Matt Dray from the Cabinet Office

Create reproducible and accessible spreadsheets with {a11ytables}

  • Wednesday 18th January 2023, 1.00 – 2.00 pm

With Matt Dray, Analyst, Analysis & Insight – Cabinet Office

About the webinar:

The Reproducible Analytical Pipelines (RAP) movement has revolutionised data processing in the UK’s public sector. Civil service analysts are using wholly code-driven approaches to generate official statistics with greater speed, efficiency and reproducibility. But there’s a bottleneck: there’s no unified R solution to autogenerate spreadsheet outputs that meet the Government Statistical Service’s best practice guidelines.

This is a problem: creating outputs with time-consuming point-and-click methods defeats the benefits of RAP, while a lack of consistency and accessibility of outputs can drive down trust and usability. To fill this gap I’ve created the {a11ytables} (‘accessibility tables’) R package, which makes use of {openxlsx} for programmatic spreadsheet creation. The interface to {a11ytables} is simple so that analysts can concentrate on generating their statistical tables and leave it to the package to generate compliant spreadsheets that can be used by all citizens.

The package is openly available on GitHub for anyone to use or contribute to, and has already been used to help create reproducible and accessible statistical publications for GOV.UK with minimal effort.

In this talk I’ll discuss the package’s inception, development, design, features and future.

Event Speakers

Speaker's Image

Matt Dray

Analyst, Analysis & Insight - Cabinet Office

Matt is a government analyst whose aim is to promote the use of R and reproducibility in the public sector and beyond. He's also a hobbyist R blogger who solves esoteric problems with off-label uses of the language.

Useful links:
• The Analysis Function's 'Releasing Statistics in Spreadsheets' guidance: https://analysisfunction.civilservice.gov.uk/policy-store/releasing-statistics-in-spreadsheets/
• {a11ytables} documentation website: https://co-analysis.github.io/a11ytables/index.html
• {a11ytables} package source on GitHub: https://github.com/co-analysis/a11ytables/
• Presentation slides online: https://matt-dray.github.io/earl22-presentation/
• Presentation slides source on GitHub (written in Quarto): https://github.com/matt-dray/earl22-presentation
• gptables (Python) documentation website: https://gptables.readthedocs.io/

Event Type


Event Date

January 18, 2023

Event Time

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

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