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Data to Decisions CRC is excited to announce the creation of the Data Science Competency Framework (DSCF), as part of its objective to build a sustainable big data workforce. This is an Australian first competency framework for data scientists. The framework defines a series of competencies specifically focused on describing the abilities, knowledge and experience required by data scientists, data engineers and data analysts.

By describing competencies, the DSCF underpins workforce development at the individual, team and organisational level.  It facilitates the identification of development needs, enhances role clarity, supports recruitment and the establishment of career pathways, which in turn enables teams working in the big data space to better achieve their outcomes.

To further support the development of the data workforce, D2D CRC is utilising the framework as a basis for the Data Science Development Planning Tool. The tool is an online self-assessment system that enables people to identify gaps in their competencies. In turn the tool provides development options for data scientists, data engineers and data analysts of any level.

D2D CRC has teamed with award-winning digital studio Sandpit, a fellow Base64 inhabitant, to develop the system. Sandpit create captivating, meaningful and highly personalised experiences in the online and physical world for clients Australia-wide.

“Both the framework and the tool will facilitate development, recognition and help managers bring the right mix of skills together for the team” said Education and Training Manager, Megan Prideaux.

“We are excited to be working with Sandpit, a local tech organisation, who are building the tool. Thanks to Sandpit’s impressive capabilities, the tool will be able to take people through the self-assessment in a considered, effective and easy-to-use way.”

The Data Science Development Planning Tool is expected to be completed later this year, with a small group of partner organisations already signed up to pilot it before making it more widely available.

Australia’s regional communities have a powerful new technological ally in the battle to reduce alarming suicide rates among farmers.

“The Ripple Effect” website, created by digital-experience specialists Sandpit and launched on June 30 as part of beyondblue’s STRIDE Project (with donations from the Movember Foundation), uses a remarkable adaptive learning engine to present personally relevant content to users.

Significantly, that content is based on the lived experiences of others within regional farming communities who’ve been touched by suicide, creating an accessible resource that’s not only highly responsive, but immediately relatable.

According to Sandpit Creative Director Sam Haren, delivering this combination of qualities represents a big step towards removing the stigma surrounding suicide among farmers.

“Farmers are typically very proud, self-reliant people,” says Sam. “So they’ve historically tended to be reluctant to seek professional help if they’re struggling; and the flow-on, or ‘ripple’, effect of that has been extremely traumatic for countless families and their communities.

“But equaly, people in farming communities are renowned for wanting to help and support each other. So it was critical to develop a platform that allowed them to do that without anyone having to publicly put their hand up and visibly ask for assistance.

The Ripple Effect not only makes it easy for them to share and discuss their stories with each other, anonymously if they wish, but also intelligently ‘learns’ about each interacting site visitor and guides them to those stories that most closely relate to their own.”

Not surprisingly, the adaptive learning engine’s customisable personalisation capabilities are attracting increasing attention from the corporate sector, with Sandpit also recently collaborating on large projects with Google Creative Labs and Penguin Books.

However, Sam says the innovative team remains most excited by wellbeing-based projects. “There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing our expertise helping people. Ventures like The Ripple Effect are absolutely where we want to be.”

The Ripple Effect is a joint initiative of the National Centre for Farmer Health, Deakin University, the Victorian Farmers Federation, AgChatOZ, the Mental Illness Fellowship of North Queensland, and Western District Health Service.

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