Sue Finch


I  have worked in the Statistical Consulting Centre for over ten years.   In this time I have consulted on over 600 different projects, and  provided over 200 reports to clients.   My background  is in psychology and statistics, and I bring to consulting over thirty  years of experience in working in the Australian Bureau of Statistics,  Victorian government agencies, and academic institutions.  I enjoy the  challenge and stimulation of working with clients  from many different fields.  Providing plain language explanations and  applied interpretations of statistical analysis, often using high  quality statistical graphics, is an important part of my consulting  practice.

I have a Bachelor of Science (Honours), Masters of Science, and a PhD, all from the University of Melbourne.

I  am a member of the Statistical Society of Australia and served on the  Victorian Branch Council from 2009 to 2013.  I am an Accredited  Statistician (AStat) with the Statistical Society  of Australia.

Here are a few examples of my consulting work.

I have worked with Public Transport Victoria and other  government transport authorities on the design and analysis of a range of  different surveys of public transport users.

I collaborated with Ian Gordon on the analysis of  police records in a case of racial profiling in Flemington and North  Melbourne.

Professor Gab Kovacs and Dr Sarah Wise surveyed  parents on a range of family and child well-being measures.  I carried out  analysis of these data which investigated the role of family structure, donor  insemination, and the child’s knowledge of his/her conception on well-being.


Statistical  consulting provides many and varied opportunities for research  collaborations, as you can see from my recent publications.

My  research interests are also in statistical education, statistical  graphics, and statistical consulting.  I am interested in finding better  ways of representing, communicating and understanding  statistical concepts.

I recently published a paper with Ian Gordon on the quality of graphs in high ranking journals:

CTWD award in 2010 Daniel and Sue
Sue Finch awarding student from CTWD 2010


Each year I teach intensive short courses open to anyone. Statistics for Research Workers comes in two different flavours – using R (in February) and SPSS (in November). I present the Producing Excellent Graphics Simply workshop each year – usually in November.

I  co-teach (with Ian Gordon) an introductory statistical methods course for post-graduate  students at the University of Melbourne; this is also called Statistics for research workers. The course code is MAST90007.   I also assist with a post-graduate course on consulting and applied statistics – The practice of statistics (MAST90027).

I collaborated on the development of two innovative courses in statistical literacy at the University of Melbourne. Critical thinking with data is a University of Melbourne breadth subject available to all first  years. It teaches students to become critical users of data-based  evidence. You can find out more here. Thinking Scientifically is a new online breadth subject for second year science students, which includes a substantial component about Thinking with data.

Sue's publications