Social Data Analytics Lab

Data science for social good.

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Go to previous page Social InnovationOur researchSocial Data Analytics (SoDA) lab
The Social Data Analytics (SoDA) Lab enables a connection between data, data science and an empowered community sector within the emerging Society 4.0.

‌‌Our mission is to work with communities, social and government sectors to partner on data analyses, build data-handling capacity in the sector and design appropriate governance, security and new data handling tools - for the community sector.

The Social Data Analytics (SoDA) Lab applies data science, including data mining, analytics, machine learning and sentiment analysis - drawing from sources such as Government Open Data, Social Media Data, Community Data Coops and the APO. Using this to provide an evidence base for activity around Society 4.0, Mental Health and Wellbeing, Social Connections and Families and Children.

Research focus

Society 4.0

Society 4.0 describes life during and after automation, artificial intelligence, digital communications and high-powered data analytics. These are technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Our research provides employers, government, trades unions, professional bodies, health, social and community services with data analysis that track how the digital revolution is affecting the world of work and workplaces. What will happen to traditional industries and jobs, will some sectors be more resilient, where, how and who will be affected socially and economically as work changes? Will particular government policies affect work, allowing employees to re-skill? The Society 4.0 Analysis will be invaluable as society changes to become more digitised and automated.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

There are growing public health challenges in the areas of mental health and wellbeing. Our particular focus is on communities and workplaces. We seek to explore questions like:

  • How can people get access to the mental health and wellbeing services they need?
  • How and where can resilience be built, with communities supporting and helping one another, being aware of mental health challenges?
  • How can people optimally and appropriatley support each other?
  • Are there large areas of unmet needs?
  • How are people with mental health challenges meeting their needs? Are they increasingly using online and e-health services and supports?
  • What are the challenges of mental health in the workplace?
  • What workplaces, and what workplace practices, are particularly culpable in terms of affecting mental health?

Social Connections

Social connections have the power to positively affect our health and wellbeing. They can foster community development and provide resilience during times of crisis.

Social connections are typically developed through face-to-face contact with friends, family and/or neighbours, they may also occur through personal emotional attachments maintained electronically (via phone or online). Connections can be with carers or service providers, pets, modern technologies like robots and metaphysical entities like a god or connection to country.

Our research in this space explores the key aspects of social connections that have been raised by a diverse body of research and acknowledges the changing nature of contemporary social life.

Families and Children 

Our research in this space is focused on a good start in life and positive attitudes to women, children, families and diversity.

We are working on how data can be pooled and used collectively to understand the impact of partnership initiatives in improving lives. Our effort aims to enable pooled community organisation data to be linked with, and overlayered on:

  • open data about demographics
  • transport
  • housing
  • employment
  • government events and initiatives.

This enables us to understand relationships between the nature of neighbourhoods and improvement/change initiatives by community partnerships. Social media analytics can also be useful here to understand how people are communicating:

  • about families, people and relationships - considering the language used, sentiment and topics covered
  • in relation to place, demographics and government policy or community interventions.

Main contacts

Go to Associate Professor Amir Aryani page Associate Professor Amir Aryani

Head, Social Data Analytics Lab

Go to Dr Arezou Soltani-Panah page Dr Arezou Soltani-Panah

Research Fellow, Social Data Analytics Lab

Go to Professor Jane Farmer page Professor Jane Farmer

Director, Social Innovation Research Institute

Go to Associate Professor Anthony McCosker page Associate Professor Anthony McCosker

Deputy Director, Social Innovation Research Institute

Contact the Social Innovation Research Institute

There are many ways to engage with us. If your organisation is dealing with a complex problem, then get in touch to discuss how we can work together to provide solutions.

Call +61 (03) 9214 8180