Is the Sunburnt Country Burning Up?


At KeyData, we are passionate about using data to understand problems and share information.  Analyst Sam Gillespie has created an interactive visualisation using data available from the Bureau of Meteorology to help illustrate what is happening at temperature stations across Australia.  Using this infographic, you can explore how temperature varies across Australia, and see how it’s changing over time. Check out some statistical analysis of the trends to work out just how much the temperature is changing across the face of the country.

With Tableau, making interactive visualisations is a breeze.  Explore Australia’s temperature data below!

Is the Sunburnt Country Burning Up?2018-03-18T22:27:58+10:00

Viz of the Day – Congratulations Sian!


Thrilled to hear Griffith University’s Policy Innovation Hub has been awarded Viz of the Day on Tableau Public!

A big congratulations to Sian Robinson et al from everyone here at Key Data Consulting! Sian’s work visualised the Queensland electorates using census data. It is difficult to get an appearance on Viz Of The Day as it is selected globally and you have been using Tableau for about 3 months! I’m happy to have been able to help get you started with Tableau and this project.


Viz of the Day – Congratulations Sian!2016-06-17T11:39:03+10:00

Sports Viz – Australian Dragon Boat Championships


Here is a Viz I developed for the 2016 Australian Dragon Boating Championships.

Tableau can help athletes and trainers to understand their sports data in an intuitive way.
For Dragon Boaters – and data lovers. Enjoy!



Sports Viz – Australian Dragon Boat Championships2016-05-15T08:48:07+10:00

How analytics leads to behavioural change



Analytics is about making differences obvious in a way that enables changes in behaviour and outcomes

At the 2015 Australian Tableau Conference, I gave a presentation on the application of Sports Science using Tableau and new generation ETL tools like Lavastorm and Alteryx. Using these tools helped my (Manly Dragons) Dragon Boating Club team to analyse team and individual technique and make positive changes to training routines. I got some great feedback on the presentation and Tableau has now kindly made a video of it available on their Customer Stories page. 

If you take a look, you can also see the Viz I created that compares different paddling styles. Using this, the team’s paddlers could envisage and understand the differences between their technique and their teamates’. An old coach used to say “there are 3 paddlers in everyone, the paddler they think they are, the paddler everyone else thinks they are and the paddler they actually are.” She was exactly right. The Viz removes two of those perceptions, leaving only the true paddler.

The Viz really does make differences obvious in a way that enabled changes in behaviour and outcomes for the team. In the example the behaviour is use of a paddle, but it can easily be variance in a production line or ANY business process. When I am developing analytics, my thought process is:

How can this information be portrayed to make desired change obvious?

Will it be easy for the audience to understand why or how that desired change is needed or should be done? 

This is more important than technical skills necessary to complete the work— they are a means to an end. The real skill is the ability to create change by presenting information in a way that minimises change inertia, whatever the cause of that inertia. You also need insight into causes of inertia if you are trying to change something; what is obvious to you may not be obvious to the people involved in the process.

It’s exciting to see the story and video on the Tableau site. I am also very excited to be going to Las Vegas next week for the 2015 Tableau Conference. I look forward to coming home with new insights, tricks and geeky stuff for the Brisbane Tableau User Group on November 11. I hope to see you there!

How analytics leads to behavioural change2015-10-18T06:48:14+10:00

Making waves with data driven performance


Analytics is the tool of choice for improving performance in almost any field. Used properly, analytics makes obvious differences to elements that influence results. It works in sport and it can work for your business, too.

Last week my sporting club, Manly Dragons, competed in the Australian Dragon Boating championships and WOW what a result!

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Manly Dragons wins 2015 ADBF Masters Championships

Manly Dragons wins 2015 ADBF Masters Championships


Club President, Jeff Hammane put it this way; Well Manly, that does it. 59 paddlers, 38 events, and 75 races covering 33,100 metres of paddling to deliver 3 Bronze, 6 Silver, 8 Gold medals and one Masters Championship. All this from a club that won its first medal only 4 years ago. Beyond awesome.’

This was an excellent result that as a club we are ecstatic about! We are now officially the best Masters club in our sport in Australia. So how have we achieved this in such a short period of time?


  • Individuals have very high commitment to the sport and team. This is undoubtedly the biggest single factor.
  • Excellent coaching. We are fortunate to have a powerful blend of strategic thinking and a disciplined coaching crew.
  • We built on these strengths by using analytics to:
    • ­Help our athlete’s visualise their progress in training throughout the year with our ERG ladder
    • ­Discover and visualise technique differences (See Tableau example workbook below) between paddlers using paddles with built-in Accelerometers and positioning devices.
    • ­Understand and improve team technique in the boat e.g. by using accurate GPS and accelerometer positioning devices for our starts.

The team is justifiably proud of our achievements this year. And I am very proud of our data-driven performance!

ERG Ladder

Club members put ERG test results (how many metres can you paddle in 2 mins on a machine?) into a repository on the team website. We use Tableau Public to display results. This has had a big influence on the behaviour of club members including myself!  We now have an active internal competition working our way up the ERG ladder. Many members test themselves on a weekly or more frequent basis. This is a huge contrast to the minimalist approach most team members (including myself) took previously.


Technique visibility

Manly Dragons has a ‘magic’ paddle that provides amazing data on how a paddler uses the paddle, however, the data is not presented in a useful manner. It is designed by engineers to supply data but its application is not intuitive. Enter Lavastorm and Tableau. Using these tools, I can take the raw data from the product and interpret the data to easily compare power and paddle styles.  An example of how Paddlers can compare and understand differences in their style is included below.




Making waves with data driven performance2015-04-29T09:05:04+10:00

Tableau on Tour Presentation – Sports Science: Using Multiple Disparate Complex Data Sources to Win


Last week I presented at the Tableau on Tour conference in Melbourne, my topic was “Sports Science: Using Multiple Disparate Complex Data Sources to Win”.

Truth is I am not a sport scientist but wish I was, this stuff is just fascinating and has the advantageous sideline of forming the basis for those potential clients asking about what we can do for them with their data, it allows me to show capabilities without compromising anyone’s private data, it also means I don’t need to explain business processes etc, people just get sport but have to think much harder about foreign business processes. It makes it easy for me to add value to our club as a data geek / sports science wannabe!

This is based on our dragon boating club and how we are collecting and using data to fine tune and shape our technique and training routines.  There is some material that would ideally have the advantage of words I use during the presentation to add context, if you hit one of those feel free to email or comment and ask!



Tableau on Tour Presentation – Sports Science: Using Multiple Disparate Complex Data Sources to Win2015-03-11T10:52:46+10:00

Data Visualization Best Practises


Tonight I am hosting the Brisbane Tableau User Group, as part of that I am presenting a summary of principles and lessons learnt that should be applied when developing analytics. These are from a combination of sources but I must provide reference to Stephen Few of Perceptualedge.com He has heavily influenced and fast tracked my thinking in this space, some of the material presented here is his with focus on areas I believe is most needed. Enjoy!

Data Visualization Best Practises2015-02-18T16:43:07+10:00

Dragon Boating Data Visualisation example


In early September I competed in the 2014 Dragon Boating Club Crew World Championships, my team (Manly Dragons) went pretty well (1st of 22 teams in Australia), as a data geek I was interested in analysis of the results to better understand how my team went with much stronger insights than the official results website allowed.

I approached the IDBF (International Dragon Boating Federation) and am grateful that they have provided data for the results (Thanks very much guys). I then used a combination of Lavastorm and Tableau to make the data much more user friendly and easy to interpret.

For Dragon Boaters I hope you enjoy it, please feel free to share the link with other Dragon Boaters

For data geeks, clients and anyone interested in how I did this, I welcome inquiries and questions about the technology, tools and techniques I have used to develop this.  I have an ongoing interest in using data generated in my sport to help our team and demonstrate how powerful transformation of data into intuitive, meaningful insights can be.  This data is public domain, my sport allows me to do this without concerns about client confidentiality.  I have some fantastic vizualisations in the pipeline of applying science to sport!

Keep watching this space for more examples.




Link to Viz

Photo by Cameron Martin


Dragon Boating Data Visualisation example2014-11-11T15:14:53+10:00

Australian Real Estate VISUALIZATION example


Here is an example of a viz I created using data from real estate sites in Australia, it is out of date so please don’t use it for current research but shows how information can be used to quickly identify high yielding areas based on specified type of real estate, bedrooms bathrooms etc. You can also specify the minimum yield you are interested in and have only those suburbs show up. I produced this using Tableau Public.

Australian Real Estate VISUALIZATION example2013-11-30T11:51:36+10:00