Topic (iii)

Innovation at Statistics Netherlands

Barteld Braaksma,, +31703374430 or +31615850123

Marleen Verbruggen,



We notice several trends in society that ask for an appropriate response from statistical offices. A few examples: the political pressure to reduce the administrative burden, respondents (both households and companies) who are less willing to respond to time consuming questionnaires, the high volatility of information and the increasing need for rapid, to-the-point and easily accessible information, the shift to mobile devices and finally, the increasing importance of internet.


It is the challenge of statistical offices to use their knowledge and innovation power to the optimal extent in order to remain able to respond pro-actively and in a creative way to these developments. This paper describes how Statistics Netherlands has developed an Innovation programme. A three-stage funnel approach plays a key role in this programme. This approach gives maximum room for bottom-up development of ideas, while its focuses at the same time on maximum contribution to the goals of the organization. The Innovation Lab is an important instrument for the Innovation programme. It offers a suitable environment to support the generation of ideas and test their feasibility.


Statistics Netherlands has identified a number of priority areas for innovation: Data Collection, Efficient Processes, Output Innovation, Big Data and IT Innovation. The paper includes a couple of concrete examples of recent innovative ideas that were adopted by the Innovation programme and the tracks we follow to realise them.