2022-08-31Calculating energy costs

Energy costs in the UK, and globally, have been rising significantly as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Energy prices for domestic (i.e. residential/household) consumers in the UK have been subject to a “cap”1 calculated by the energy regulator, Ofgem. The price cap is usually quoted in terms of it’s annual value, which possibly isn’t the most useful approach, especially as we head into the winter months. So I tried to estimate what my energy costs might be… and then I turned that exercise into an interactive calculator that others can use.

2022-06-12Introducing tidyods

TLDR: For very good reasons ODS is a horrible data file format. The OpenDocument Spreadsheet (ODS) format is an increasingly common format for publishing spreadsheets, especially official statistics from UK government departments. I recently encountered a problem when trying to use the {readODS} package to read a published ODS file. More surprsingly, I discovered that {readODS} is the only R package on CRAN for working with ODS files. As a result I’ve started to develop my own package, {tidyods}.

2021-05-12How much is that meeting in the window?

No matter what job we do or who we work for all of us have been in meetings that we knew weren’t worth it. For those of us in the public sector there’s the added pressure knowing that we’re paid by the taxpayer. A couple of weeks ago a friend who works in another government department (for arguments sake the Department for Action) was lamenting that they and their team of six were asked by a someone in another government department (let’s say the Ministry of Meetings) to have a meeting with their team about a joint project they were working on.

2021-01-17Making aRt

One of my 2021 resolutions was to engage with Tidy Tuesday more often. I’ve dabbled in the past but never recorded my work or published it. This week’s data was a catalogue of the Tate collection, and there have been some rather fantastic visualisations1, no doubt inspired by the fact the subject matter is art. The other week I saw a tweet by Ijeamaka Anyene showcasing some fabulous artistic plots made in R by using the coord_polar() function within {ggplot2}.

2021-01-10Planning our Twitter walk

Let’s just acknowledge upfront that this is a very strange week to be writing about Twitter posting strategies1. This is the second blog about my coastalwalkr project, you can read the first here. The last post introduced a conceptual evolutionary jump for the mapbotverse — walking — and we’ve seen how in R we might be able to programmatically take a walk along the coast of Great Britain. For humans the walk in and of itself can be the sole purpose of the activity, but a mapbot probably needs something more to keep itself occupied and entertained?