CBS introducing a voice assistant tool


Our information searching behaviour on the Internet is intensifying. We used to just type a question into a search engine, but this has become more and more obsolete. We have shifted towards using our mobile phone and to voice-controlled applications for our online searches.

(English subtitles available)

Statistics Netherlands (CBS) is developing a voice assistant which will soon enable people to request all types of information. It will provide answers to frequently asked questions on topics such as population, income and the labour market. The data will be supported by contextual tables, graphs and links to corresponding StatLine tables and articles with more information, for example. The CBS vooice assistent tool is currently only available in Dutch.

In this way, quickly obtaining reliable information has become readily accessible and easier. In addition, the voice assistant will, by default, provide the three most recent news releases published by CBS.
Are you looking for the most recent figures on topics such as population and income? The CBS voice assistant may be able to help you out.

How does it work?

Currently, the CBS voice assistant runs only on Google Assistant. You will therefore need to have either the Google Assistant app on your smartphone, or a smart speaker operated by Google Assistant. You can communicate with the CBS voice assistant by saying: “Praat met het CBS” (talk to CBS). Within the CBS environment, you may then ask questions such as “How many young people live in the Netherlands?” or “What is today’s news?”. Our voice assistant is continuously communicating with our open data, enabling you to obtain the most recent figure on a topic at all times. In an additional table, presented by default, you will be able to see at a glance the trend for this figure over a certain period. For example, it will show you whether a figure or percentage has increased, decreased or remained the same. Should you still not receive the answer you are looking for, our voice assistant will also provide a link to the CBS Infoservice contact page for further assistance. The CBS voice assistant tool is currently only available in Dutch.

Try out for yourself and share your opinion

Our objective is to answer as many questions from users as possible in this way. Therefore, your input is very important to us. In addition to the questions you submit to the voice assistant, you can also use the form below to indicate what your needs are. This will allow us to identify what enhancements are needed to increase user value. We are still in the process of making further improvements, so do not hesitate to share your experience and opinion with us!

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