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Memories of Data Analysis Australia

We asked ourselves what were our most unusual or memorable projects, and the answers may provide an insight into the huge diversity of our work.

In the Beginning

We were a team of one - working from home with the aim of establishing a company that  would provide a comprehensive service across Australia.

20 Years Ago...

We were working with clients such as Argyle Diamonds and the Perth Art Gallery and were also analysing the effect of the introduction of 40km/hr school speed zones.

10 Years Ago...

We were analysing results of a national survey of school children on cyber-bullying,  evaluating the impact of the new desalination plant on Cockburn Sound, and assisting the Department of Defence with understanding their inventory.

Today...

We are working on a valuation of the country's social security and income support system, providing expert advice on groundwater contamination and still helping the Department of Defence with their annual inventory monitoring and sampling, plus many more.

Managing Director John Henstridge recalls...

Managing Director, John Henstridge, recalls his first appearance in court as an expert witness.  He assisted with the cross-examination of a witness by suggesting relevant statistical questions to ask and was then himself called to provide expert testimony and underwent cross-examination for a full day.  Talk about a baptism by fire.

Principal Managing Consultant Statistician Anna Hayes remembers...

Principal Managing Consultant Statistician, Anna Hayes, remembers being on site at CSIRO to advise their scientists on experimental design when offered a tour of the facility.  Unexpectedly, the tour included walking through an operating theatre, where four sheep were under anaesthetic in the middle of being operated on.

The Perth and Regions Travel Survey...

The Perth and Regions Travel Survey was remembered as our first individual project with a budget of over a million dollars - largely due to the need to be out in the field collecting data covering every single day over a four year period.  The project was remembered as an opportunity for innovation, with our IT team developing web-based data entry tools at a time when such things were rare.

Power Ahead

A recent large-scale project saw us helping with the design and analysis of Horizon Power's award-winning Power Ahead Research project.  Consultant Statistician, Katy Proctor recalls spending her first six months with Data Analysis Australia working almost full time on this project and says not only did she learn many technical skills, she also learnt about regional and remote Western Australia.  Despite having grown up in Scotland, Katy probably now knows more about remote WA than many native-born Sandgropers.

Other Memorable Projects

Other projects were memorable for the lessons they taught us, such as the importance of understanding the data and  software you are working with,   and to always question unexpected results.  We've experienced this when a client has forgotten to mention an unusual event that happened while the data was being collected. We've also had unusual results due to a new program implementing a standard technique in a non-standard way - one of the dangers of some of the "black box" analytics software so widely available today.   

We Like Animals...

Several consultants remembered projects that involved analysing data about various critters, including dolphins, dugongs, honey bees, race horses, cats, woylies and mice.