On the afternoon of 14 November, the RSS is hosting a joint meeting with the International Biometric Society at Errol Street. The topic is inter-operability, as in software packages talking to each other to make your life easier.
This is a big deal, not some nerdish tweak. One of the speakers has summed it up so nicely in their abstract I shall simply quote them here:
“Developers of computing software (office suites, data bases etc) often seem to take the view that users should never need to go elsewhere to fulfill their needs, but can spend their entire computing lives within a single system. In statistics, it is harder to support that attitude (although some have tried!). Our subject, its methodology and applications, are so diverse and developing so quickly, that it would be arrogant and foolish for any one group to assume that they can cover the entire user-requirement. So statistical analysts may need to draw on different tools according to each situation. … [Challenges] range from the straightforward issue of file interchangeability through to the ability to act as an environment for other systems or to operate as statistical engines. There will also be a discussion of future challenges, including the ability to link systems to handle large data sets, and to provide secure analyses over the internet.”