Case Study

Data Literacy and Bees

Education projects don’t come any more interesting (or fun) than the opportunity for Perceptive Data to work with the Ballarat Tech School and the CSIRO to develop an innovative data analytics curriculum based on the behaviour of honey bees.

Using CSIRO RFID technology, bees were equipped with RFID chip bearing ‘backpacks’ to collect data from their entries and exits to a local Ballarat hive.

The challenge of this project was for Perceptive Data to develop a curriculum that engaged secondary school students in data literacy, while introducing them to the latest techniques and tools used in the data analytics industry.

Data literacy is becoming an increasingly important skill for our young learners to develop, and is similarly important for almost everyone in the workplace who will at various stages need to make meaning from data.

The Bees with Backpacks program is now a single-day program run from the Ballarat Tech School, where students firstly get their hands dirty with the raw data, before progressing to develop and interpret data visualisations using Tableau.



Ballarat Tech School

Ballarat, VIC.


Bees with Backpacks Dashboard

Students investigate relationships between honeybee activity and the time of day with Perceptive Data’s interactive dashboards.

Bees with Backpacks analytics

The launch of the Bees with Backpacks data analytics program.

Project Overview

  • Development of a data literacy curriculum, presentation materials and learning activities
  • Design of Tableau Dashboards to engage students and support their data analytics learning
  • Data processing and preparation of bee hive activity data

Client: Ballarat Tech School

Completion: November 2019.


  • Data Literacy curriculum development
  • Technical liaison with CSIRO
  • Tableau dashboard development
  • Tableau Online deployment
  • Education and training of staff


Data Preparation

ETL (Extract, Transform and Load) of data collected from a local bee hive by the CSIRO’s RFID capture system. 


Data Visualisation

Tableau dashboards to provide engaging ways for student to interact with the bee hive data, observing relationships between bee activity, seasons, weather and time of day. 


Tableau Training

Training of Ballarat Tech School’s educators and technical staff to support and provide an ongoing Tableau Online environment.

"Grant has the ability to combine his understanding of the education sector and the needs of learners across the Victorian Curriculum scope and sequence to develop engaging dashboards that are intuitive to the behaviour of a learner and build capacity the experience."

"Grant combines the experience of technical design with his ability to communicate, project management all components to achieve the required outcomes and build curriculum resources that develop and engage learners in data literacy appropriate and across various audiences."

Sofi Fiusco

Associate Director, Ballarat Tech School

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Talk Data

Located in Ballarat in Western Victoria, Perceptive Data has a distributed team and provides data visualisation services across state and international borders.

Feel free to talk to us wherever you may be located.

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