Who we are and what we do

The Sax Institute’s Decision Analytics team harnesses the latest technologies and methods to develop adaptable decision support tools that forecast the impact of alternative decision options before they are implemented in the real world.

We work in partnership with government departments, policy agencies and program planners in health and social sectors, applying computer simulation and other technologies to provide decision makers with a low-risk way of understanding which combinations of interventions are likely to be the most effective over time.

Decision analytics applies a unique participatory approach to developing the models, providing better transparency of models and their assumptions, and enabling us to distil evidence, data and real-world knowledge in a way that captures the complex and dynamic nature of our most challenging health and social problems. In bringing together researchers with the end users and deeply engaging them in the process of developing these tools, our models incorporate insights from policy and practice, and are driven by policy priorities.

Our models are being used to support decisions at many levels to improve population health and wellbeing.

Find out more

Examples of our work

Suicide prevention

This video shows how dynamic simulation modelling applies to preventing suicide.

Smoking

Alcohol

Diabetes and pregnancy

Using mobile technologies for research

The Sax Institute’s Decision Analytics team has partnered with Western Sydney University and the University of Saskatchewan, Canada to undertake the first Australian applications of a new data-gathering platform called Ethica. Ethica supports data collection through App-based mobile phone and wearable technologies; capturing health and social behaviours at a level of granularity not possible with traditional surveys and generating new knowledge on how behaviours change over time to impact health and wellbeing.

Applications include:

  • A study to explore the determinants of psychosocial wellbeing, mental health and academic success in university students
  • Determinants of food and physical activity behaviours of adolescents and young adults.

The Sax Institute’s Decision Analytics team and Australian Prevention Partnership Centre work with collaborators to develop dynamic simulation models for lifestyle-related chronic disease prevention. 

Publications