Foundation for Young Australians builds smarter research with IBM

SPSS platform adds weight to non-profit’s academic output

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Sydney, Australia - 04 Dec 2012: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that the Foundation for Young Australians has successfully integrated IBM’s SPSS analytics platform into its research capabilities, resulting in significant boosts to the organisation’s reputation as a national leader in its field.

Since adopting the SPSS platform, FYA has won new research tenders worth ten times its original investment, using the analytics software to deliver more effective research insights out of its surveys and youth programmes. The organisation credits the reputation of the SPSS platform with boosting its standing in the research community, by offering it a comprehensive framework for collecting, analysing and integrating its data with external sources to generate increasingly sophisticated findings.

“Reputation is one of the most important factors in research, and IBM’s SPSS platform is internationally recognised for delivering extremely rigorous statistical analysis and evaluation of data,” said Dr Naomi Berman, Manager of Policy and Evaluation at FYA. “That track record gives SPSS strong credentials as a research tool, and we were confident we could use the platform to not only transform our business model but develop far more accurate insights into youth-related social outcomes.”

FYA currently uses SPSS Statistics Base and Custom Tables as part of quantitative analysis into its various youth programmes including the highly successful “Worlds of Work” programme, which charts student growth and development from exposure to some of Australia’s leading workplaces including IBM.

“The SPSS platform allows us to summarise results from Worlds at Work in a simple, accessible manner, and continues to deliver powerful insights over both the short and longer term,” said Dr Berman. “For example, the platform revealed that students were genuinely advancing in all areas of the program.   In addition, the data showed that the student’s would benefit from a stronger focus on how to cope with setbacks in working worlds. It’s this sort of approach which makes SPSS such a recognisable tool within the research and academic communities and is a critical asset in helping to build our profile.”

The SPSS platform’s reputation continues to add credibility to FYA’s academic output, including peer-reviewed articles and key briefings to both public and private sector organisations. The resultant increase in external research contracts for the organisation has been complemented by strong growth in FYA’s corporate partners for Worlds at Work and other programmes, resulting in increased resources for new hires and professional development to further boost the group’s research outcomes.

“Using SPSS to back up our insights demonstrates to external stakeholders that we can evaluate our program with the highest degree of accuracy and detail, which in turn builds their confidence in partnering with FYA,” said Dr Berman. “We expect that continued and increasingly nuanced deployment of IBM’s SPSS packages will attract even more corporate partners and academic credos for the validity of our growing research output.”

FYA hopes to build on its work with IBM to develop platforms for longer-term research and tracking of both its and other organisations’ youth projects, including predictive analyses on the efficacy of specific programmes for different student demographics and communities.

“Working with a not-for-profit like FYA demonstrates the case for increased business analytics extends well into the realm of positive social outcomes,” said Alan Morgan, Manager of Business Intelligence and Advanced Analytics. “It’s heartening to see organisations like FYA applying their reputed methodologies to the growing amount of data available with them, something IBM aims to support through continued support and consultation around extending analytics technology into new and long-term areas of research.”


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