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Data Analytics

Seer Data Analytics work is at the frontier of applying the new oil, “Data”, and turning it into insight using machines that learn and create models and predictions that humans cannot.

What do I mean by data?  It comes in many different forms and flavours, and today in the digital world, we have so many variations.

1.Data as a statistic. 
This type of data gives you information about how many customers you might have, how many people you can reach who might want your product and service, how many people in your community may need a type of intervention because their situation is not looking as positive as others.

2.Data as your digital footprint or shadow. 
The type of data collected whenever you interact digitally. Websites, services like YouTube, Netflix or Uber gather information about what you view or interact with online, and how and when you engage.

Based on past interactions, this information is very useful for brands to feed you advertising about what you are most likely to want based on your past engagements.  This is your digital footprint or your digital shadow.  And it can get creepy.  You know, when you search on a website, for….a motorbike. Then, ads for this very same bike show up in your Facebook feed or on YouTube or other places where you’re searching, that is totally unrelated. 

It’s because your digital shadow is being captured and your individual ID is linked in the big data exchange, a global market worth more than $20B, so that advertisers can re-target to you in the form of online advertising or send you content based on past history. 

3.Data as what we actually do, not what we say we’ll do.  Operational data. 
This is very interesting.  This is the data on what you or your customers do day-to-day.  What you spend your money on.  How you manage your health. What services you use.  Who you vote for. 

Having access to this data is completely changing how businesses operate, how healthcare and health insurance is administered and how the government delivers services. 

4.Data sending information about how to improve supply chains and business efficiency.
Manufacturing, transport, logistics, and data that feeds ERP, financial systems, and HR. When all of this is connected, business owners gain a powerful view into the business and in turn, give you great opportunities for improving operations.

5.Internet of things. 
This is captured by sensors from things – machines, devices, wearables, drones or buildings sending huge amounts of information to trigger actions based on this information to humans or machines.  

6.Data as an indicator of how you feel. 
Your voice or words are measured for emotion, called sentiment analysis, and this data is aggregated with other data to measure how you feel.  How stressed are employees in the workplace?  How angry are customers after they wait for your service?   

These are just six data sources that an organisation or a society can access to mashup, link and feed into machines so they can learn what the best next action is, depending on what you’d like to know.

The Data Gold Rush

The international personal data market is estimated to be worth $20.6 billion, and the players in this new economy are quietly infiltrating our lives as they track our activities, locations, interests, health, and more. From tech giants to digital marketers and small-time apps, everyone wants a slice of the data pie.

How can we use this resource to benefit society?

We are working with several communities on data-driven decision making for societal benefit.  The Seer Data Platform offers an ever-green and ever-growing library of Public Data and community-driven research. It lets communities include their own important Private Data resources in a friendly environment with the simple tools people need to easily create and share valuable insights.

Shifting power with data in Shepparton

In Shepparton, having access to data is shifting power toward communities to be more self-directed. Through our work, we have been able to show a relationship between the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) figures and NAPLAN results or other datasets.

In our last analysis for the community-led Leadership Tables, we saw a strong correlation between school readiness and parents reporting early speech problems. We blended the AEDC and VCAMs datasets to look for clues. We also found positive development in “Emotional Maturity” correlated with better literacy and numeracy test results (NAPLAN) right up to Year 9. This is a great conversation for people to have.

What does this mean? I think it gives communities better information to have conversations together. These are confronting conversations and not easy to have.

The Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Project and Executive Director, Lisa McKenzie, is using data analytics to inform their community conversations and community-driven interventions.

There is so much local knowledge and insight, and the data analytics is a tool to enhance this knowledge. We have the data available to us and it is shifting power and gives the community more power to make decisions that are right for us.

Machine Learning improving decisions for early education interventions in Mt Druitt

Evidence from studies around Australia and the world shows a person’s life successes, health and emotional wellbeing have their roots in early childhood. By getting it right in the early years, children are more likely to thrive throughout school and their adult lives.

The quality of a child’s earliest environments and the availability of appropriate experiences at the right stages of development are, according to the Australian Government’s Early Development Census (AEDC), a body collecting data to inform early education policy and services, to be a determinant to the way each child’s brain architecture develops.

Like many organisations around Australia and overseas working in complex environments, The Hive in Mt Druitt has been using data for a long time to inform themselves, their partners, funders, and their community stakeholders about how to deploy the limited resources they have to maximum positive effect. The Hive is focused on meeting the need for good quality early education to reduce rates of vulnerability among children in Mt Druitt.

Among the many questions that follow; How does the supply of early education providers compare with the needs in Mt Druitt? What is the quality of the providers? Where are higher-quality childcare and early education needed most? What degree of improvement could be achieved by introducing more and higher-quality childcare in specific locations?

We saw this as a great opportunity for purposeful data science.


This model shows the need for more and higher-quality childcare in Northern Mt Druitt which then informs funders about investments. But there are many more questions we can answer. What would be the impact of a new high-quality childcare facility located in North Mt Druitt? How many children should it accommodate and would one centrally located provider be better or several distributed geographically? What are the human factors that contribute to low-quality early education?  If we solve this problem, can we start to predict where low-quality early education hot spots may emerge?

About Seer Data & Analytics

Seer is a tech start up that works with communities and policy makers to help people use data and machine learning for social good.  We do this by making data easier to access to everyday people so they can gain greater insight into problems they are trying to solve, such as improving educational outcomes for young people, reducing crime and violence, and delivering new services to people in our community who need help.

The work Seer is doing is backed by Telstra through the muru-D accelerator, and also a number of well-known tech entrepreneurs, business people in Australia and around the world.  Seer is working in 15 of the most challenged communities in Australia from Tennant Creek to Bourke, Shepparton to Rockhampton and Mt Druitt in Western Sydney to give people access to data to ultimately improve lives.