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.
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.
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.
Andrew Page, Jo-An Atkinson, William Campos, Mark Heffernan, Shahana Ferdousi, Adrian Power, Nereus Maranan, Ian Hickie. A decision support tool to inform local suicide prevention activity in Greater Western Sydney (Australia). (Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry – in press)
Mark Heffernan, Jo-An Atkinson, Geoff McDonnell, Nick Roberts, Vincy Li, Louise Freebairn, Jacqueline Davison, Ante Prodan. Reducing childhood overweight and obesity: Can the target be reached by 2025? Proceedings of the 35th International Conference of the Systems Dynamics Society. Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, 2017 (http://conference.systemdynamics.org/current/upload/schedbythread.html)