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Vic Branch – Statistics is the Crown Jewel of Data Science (Belz Lecture)

  • 31 Oct 2019
  • 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM (AEDT)
  • David P. Derham Theatre, Mezzanine Level, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne, 185 Pelham Street, Carlton


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Join us for our annual Belz Lecture, to be delivered this year by Antony Ugoni from SEEK. This is a free event however registration is required.

The lecture will be followed by the Belz Dinner, which is a separate, paid event.

Statistics is the Crown Jewel of Data Science

Statistics has always been vitally important to Data Science, and its importance is growing.  With data scientists in critically short supply, however, the discipline is attracting talented people from many different disciplines, each bringing different and complementary skills to a data science team.

Integral to such a team's work involves tasks that are standard fare in statistics.  Examples include statistical inference, experimental design, or supporting decision making under uncertainty.  Powerful approaches to these are well known to experienced statisticians but not necessarily to many data scientists.  What are some of these?

Antony will share stories from his work leading data science teams in industry, illustrating examples where statistics has worked its magic.  He will urge us to renew the wonder and amazement of our discipline as the best way to force our discipline to take its rightful place in the Data Science discipline, and inspire the statistics profession to pass this on to the new generation of data scientists.

Antony Ugoni

Director, Global Matching and Analytics, SEEK

Antony is one of Australia’s leaders in analytics and in 2013 accepted an opportunity at SEEK to develop the analytics capability.

Antony began his career as a Biostatistician to the Alfred Group of Hospitals jointly with Monash Medical School. He then moved to a lecturing role in Biostatistics at the University of Melbourne. Antony has co-authored more than 50 peer reviewed articles in medical research and still actively contributes to this industry today.

From 2000 to 2013 Antony worked at National Australia Bank leading many ground breaking teams and projects. Antony started as the lead for its Credit Card Fraud Analytics Group which used data driven insights to reduce fraud losses by more than 50% in a market that was experiencing fraud losses growing at 30% per annum. Antony was then offered the opportunity to lead the Customer Analytics team which, in his tenure, identified more than $100b worth of revenue opportunities.

Since 2013 Antony has worked at the Seek Group and founded the team that today is known as AI Platform Services. The AI Platform Services team are responsible for utilising the data captured by Seek assets to build services that help great candidates find jobs and stand out from the crowd, and hirers to identify great candidates in a timely fashion. Today the team numbers more than 100 Data Scientists, Data Engineers and Strategists, delivering services in 19 markets across the world, reaching 2.9 Billion candidates.


  • holds a BSc(Hons) and an MSc from La Trobe University,
  • is the Chairman of IAPA (The Institute of Analytics Professionals, Australia),
  • is a Board Member of AADL (The Australian Alliance for Data Leadership),
  • is a Board Member of ADMA (The Association for Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising),
  • is an Advisory Board member of the analytics start-up Pascal51, and
  • is an Advisory Board member for the Centre of Business Analytics, Melbourne Business School

Slides and recordings


Photographs from the Belz Lecture

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