Tutorial 7: Data Science

In this tutorial we'll provide you background information, tools, and resources on Seer Data Science models developed through machine learning and AI. By the end of this tutorial, you will learn about:

  1. The Similar Communities Model and Tool
  2. The Seer Giving Index
  3. The Intergenerational Transfer of Wealth data asset
  4. The Seer Population Forecasts

Before we start

Full access to some Seer Data Science models may not be available on Seer Standard. If your organisation has a need to bring your own data onto the platform and share it, build community vital signs or an evidence base, or answer a complex question through data, please get in touch so we can better understand your needs.

1. The Similar Communities Model and Tool

The Similar Communities Model was designed to understand which communities were the most and least similar across 8 key social indicators. This helps organisations with their research, fundraising and service delivery and refinement.

By looking at what a community similar to yours is doing, what's working and what's not you can make better decisions about what might work in your community. Many people also reach out to those communities to connect share knowledge and collaborate on solutions.

Seer has developed a free model that helps you discover the top 10 most similar communities in your State and Nationally.

Plus subscribers can access the full dataset which can be analysed down to an SA2 level and allows a deeper dive into similarities and differences.

The model looks at the following indicators:

  1. Age distribution
  2. Population size
  3. Socio-Economic Index For Areas (SEIFA)
  4. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) Population
  5. Cultural and Linguistic Diversity
  6. Make-up of Families
  7. Participation in Unpaid or Charitable Work
  8. Industries of Employment

The free model lets you compare communities at LGA (Local Government Areas). Try out the free Similarity Model tool here to view the Top 10 most similar communities to yours by your State/Territory or Nationally. .

To find our more about how access to the full data asset may help your organisation, please get in touch.

2. The Seer Giving Index

The Seer Giving Index looks at a range of propensity to give factors including rates of giving, median gift size and rates of volunteering to determine a score for Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) areas (similar to suburbs) out of 100 across all of Australia. The index provides an indication of which areas have been the most generous with their money and time.

What you can do with this data set:

  • Discover areas with the greatest wealth transfer and propensity to give using an easy to understand 1-100 index
  • Build an evidence base to aid your fundraising efforts with Open Data in Seer
  • Discover what areas are more likely to volunteer
  • Discover what areas have the greatest potential for wealth transfer
  • Target your communications, fundraising and program efforts effectively
  • Customise the index further with business and health indicators

The machine learning model uses volunteering rates, reported donations and the SEIFA Index to build the Index. The data asset is available for all Seer users and particularly useful for organisations building fundraising and bequest strategies or volunteering drives.

You can access the Pre-packed Suitcase with Insights here. Duplicate and edit to explore your areas of interest.

Find out more about the Seer Giving Index and watch the video here.

3. The Intergenerational Transfer of Wealth data asset

Seer’s data science team developed this dataset to understand and estimate the likely transfer of private wealth by Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) across Australia from 2016 to 2060 in five year intervals. It can be further explored by age, household type and sex.

The asset is being used by organisations for philanthropic planning, strategic fundraising, bequest campaigning and marketing, targeting, sales and storytelling. The wealth transfer data has been mapped across Australia and the results have been included in the Philanthropy Australia’s cross-sector strategy document - A Blueprint to grow structured giving - how Australia can grow double structured giving by 2030.

You can find out more about the Intergenerational Transfer of Wealth and how it's helping communities by watching our fireside chat with Philanthropy Australia, Into Our Hands Community Foundation and Hands Across Canberra by clicking here. On this same page you can download the Philanthropy Australia Blueprint as well as reports created by the other two sector leaders. 

The Intergenerational Wealth Transfer dataset is available to purchase nationally or for just a selected range of SA2's. The dataset can also be expanded to include additional information such as small business and demographic data. Find out more about it here.

Get in touch to access the full data asset.

4. The Seer Population Forecasts

The Seer Population Forecasts uses machine learning to forecast population change by Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) across Australia. The data asset looks at historical populations by sex and age group at 5 year intervals from 2011 and 2016 and provides forecasts for 2021, 2026 and 2031.

The data asset is useful for organisations trying to anticipate program and service needs in the future for their areas of interest. To better understand the background of this data asset, please visit this article.

The data asset will be extended in 2022 for a new 2036 forecast following the Australian Census 2021 results.

Get in touch to access the full data asset.


This was the final article in our "Getting Started" series. You are now ready to build insights, collaborate and share powerful data stories using Seer. If you need any assistance, or would like to learn more about how we can assist you with your data needs, please email: seer.support@seerdata.com.au so we can best understand your needs.