Oracle and Western Sydney University team up on visual analytics research


Two big data PhD research projects have received an investment boost from Oracle. The research projects will be conducted by Western Sydney University's School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics. The studies will look at new ways of using visual analytics across two fields: using visualisation to help better interpret data in the cancer treatment of children; and how the use of virtual and augmented reality can make large scale visual analytics more accessible.

Robert Spinks, Senior Director, Big Data, Integration and Analytics, Oracle, said "Oracle's heritage is data, how to manage it, secure it and use it effectively. In today's big data world, making data visual is a big part of making it understandable, especially when the interpretation is done by users who may not be skilled data scientists. Rather than having users try to decipher reports or dashboards, visual analytics can add a new dimension and help users gain new and different insights from data more quickly. These research projects are both really exciting and we can't wait to see their results."

The first tranche of funding will enable a two-year extension for existing research into 'Enabling Effective Clinical Decisions with Visual Analytics', which is currently supported by the Cancer Institute of NSW's "Big Data, Big Impact" Grant.

Dr. Quang Vinh Nguyen, Senior Lecturer with Western Sydney University's School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, explains: "While the cure rates of childhood cancers have improved dramatically thanks to the growth of technologies and research, there is still a lot more that needs to be done.. The human genome comprises thousands of genes containing information about individual patients and the biological mechanisms of their diseases. By combining genetic information with clinical data and using data visualisation techniques to breakdown that complexity, this research seeks to find new ways to battle childhood cancers with cutting-edge discoveries that are safe, less toxic and more effective."

The second initiative will investigate the use of virtual reality and augmented reality tools and techniques in the deployment of large scale visual analytics. This new project is open to PhD students with applications closing in June 2017.

"Today's knowledge-driven society generates a vast amount of data. Ordinary analysis methods quickly become inadequate as the data size and complexity increases. This research will focus on how an immersive visual data analytics experience can be enabled by utilising newly introduced technologies in the areas of virtual reality, augmented reality or both," said Dr Nguyen.

To apply or to receive more information about the research projects contact:

Professor Simeon Simoff, Dean, School of Computing, Engineering & Mathematics,
(02) 9685 9179, 0424 156 514, 

Dr Quang Vinh Nguyen, Senior Lecturer in Visual Analysis, School of Computing, Engineering & Mathematics, (02) 9685 9328 ,

Image taken by Sally Tsoutas (Left to right): Babar Jan-Haleem, APAC Director Big Data & Analytics, Oracle, Socs Cappas, Director Product Management, Oracle Business Analytics, Vinh Nguyen, Senior Lecturer in Visual Analysis, Western Sydney University, Andrew Brunker, PhD Student, Western Sydney University


30 November 2016

Rebecca English, PR Director, Transformational Campaigns – APAC, Oracle Australia,
03 8616 3912, 0414 314 836,

Amanda Whibley, Manager, Media and Public Relations, Western Sydney University,
02 9678 7084, 0418 438 399,