2014 Australian Statistical Conference

The Statistical Society of Australia, of which John Henstridge is currently President, held the Australian Statistical Conference in Sydney in July. The event was held in conjunction with the Institute of Mathematical Statistics Annual Meeting, which gave the conference a stronger theoretical flavour.  The program included many internationally recognised speakers and had participants from over 30 countries.  The venue itself was fascinating – the old railway workshops of the Australian Technology Park  – so the latest statistical methods were discussed while we were surrounded by the machines from the age of steam.

Five Data Analysis Australia staff, John Henstridge, Anna Munday, John Dickson, Yuichi Yano and Alethea Rea, attended and spent four days Listening to a wide variety of talks, both applied and theoretical.  The team came away from the conference with new ideas and inspired to apply some of the techniques in future. 

Our own talks highlighted the variety of projects Data Analysis Australia works on and our innovative approach to problem solving.  

John Henstridge described a “big data” problem analysing signals and cycles in a complex chemical plant. Data Analysis Australia had been asked to investigate production drop-offs using the data collected by sensors within the plant. John explained how a technique he used many years ago when working with seismic signals inspired an analysis that directed engineers to a particular zone of the plant.

Anna Munday spoke about our commitment to providing reliable, defensible, high quality forecasts for one of our long term clients.  Data Analysis Australia has a particular strength in forecasting, and our electricity demand forecasts provide the basis for long term strategic planning of electricity supply. Anna explained the aspects of the methodology including how it allows for the increasing impact of photovoltaic (solar power) units.

John Dickson spoke about predictive models developed for mining industry clients.  Data Analysis Australia understands the importance of such models in the decision making process, as they are used with information gained from a limited number of exploration holes to predict the potential value of a mineral resource.  John explained how our extensive knowledge of statistics, statistical software and our clients’ needs helps us to deliver models that are robust and ready for use.

Alethea Rea described an investigation into where visitors from Asian countries go during their time in Australia.  The presentation highlighted how appropriate graphics can enhance the understanding of complex behaviours.  Alethea presented maps showing where visitors went within Australia, highlighting that popular itineraries included multiple destinations and movements between the capital cities on the east coast of Australia.

The social and networking sides of the conference were not neglected.  Data Analysis Australia again sponsored the Young Statisticians Dinner, underlining our long term support for the next generation of statisticians.  And simply sharing a week with 550 other statisticians meant that there were opportunities for learning many new ideas.

In all it was a successful conference, and we look forward to the 2016 conference in Canberra.

A selection of Data Analysis Australia’s presentations can be found on our Presentations page. 

September 2014