14 students from the first IPSDS cohort and invited guests traveled to the University of Mannheim to participate in our first Connect@IPSDS meeting (detailed Program can be found here).


The students began the Connect@IPSDS on Friday evening with a warm greeting from the faculty and staff followed by a networking reception.

"I don't know what could have been done better, because it was very inspiring and somehow also relaxing. The way how we have met each other was very good. I also liked the presentations, they covered both survey methodology and data science." - Sofija (Survey Statistician, 1st IPSDS Cohort)


"I think it was a good idea to organize this kickoff event. We are participating in an online program, because we need time: there is work, family, so many things, but I think it is necessary to find time at least at the beginning to meet your colleagues and faculty in person. It helps you communicate online later during the program." - Sara (Statistics Production Manager, 1st IPSDS Cohort)



On Saturday morning, IPSDS students participated in three intensive workshops:

W1: Introduction to Visualization with Tableau
taught by Florian Ramseger (Tableau)

W2: Introduction to Survey Quality Predictor (presentation slides)
taught by Daniel Oberski (Tilburg University)

W3: Public Sector Information Re-Use Directive
taught by Oliver Rack (Open Data Rhein-Neckar)


"It was very interesting to meet people. I was quite impressed to find out what some IPSDS participants are doing." - Markus (Market researcher, 1st IPSDS Cohort)



"It was a great kickoff. I was very impressed. The mix between informal and formal settings was perfect. The presentations were very nice and brought me up to date on what is new in the fields. But there were also some informal parts where we got to know each other in a great atmosphere." - Shubila (Statistician, 1st IPSDS Cohort)



Mario Callegaro, senior survey research scientist at Google, took the stage as a keynote speaker to talk about the role of surveys in the area of “Big Data.” In his talk, Mario discussed the relationship between Big Data and surveys and how researchers can decide what data sources, or combinations of them, are best to serve their research objectives. By showing trends in survey practice, he disputed the notion that surveys are in an existential crisis due to Big Data advancements and provided an alternative view of the two working together to create better values. Finally, he introduced the concept of rich data that focuses on not just the mere size of data but their substance and utilities - it is the richness in data and insights (and not “big”) that should capture our methodological aims. Such richness is achieved through enhanced construct coverage, a multitude of relevant signals, improved measurement precision, and better analytic and data visualization tools. (The talk was a forthcoming book chapter titled Callegaro, Mario, and Yongwei Yang. “The Role of Surveys in the Era of ‘Big Data.’” In Palgrave Handbook of Survey Research, edited by David L. Vannette and Jon A. Krosnick. New York: Palgrave.)

Other speakers, Ralf Klüber (P3 insight GmbH) and Andreas Junghher (University of Mannheim), led the students and guests through talks on crowdsourced non-probability sampling (presentation slides) as well as on potential and challenges of using digital trace data (presentation slides).

The talks were followed by a great discussion and a final networking round.