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Data Geek Challenge – Whales Encounters in Australia

Hi everyone,

I love travel. So do you, I guess (coz we only live once 😛 ). Even though at present I haven’t been able to travel (so many priority lists), but I definitely go for it in the future, when I am ready. There’re are so many challenges that I need to overcome to reach my travelling journey. And my fuel to run through those challenges are from my loved-ones, and from my once-in-a-lifetime dreams list. I mean, with whatever goal I want to achieve, I will do a cross check with my once-in-a-lifetime dreams list, ask myself: “Will those dreams become reality if I achieve this goal?” This question is working fine so far in motivating me to reach my goal.

OK, so one of my goal currently is to work in Australia. Why? Because there’re so many places to travel in Australia 😉 And one my dream that can be achieved when I go to Australia is: “Seeing and touching a whale.” You know? Those big creatures that are able to tell you when you need to change your boat….(when it runs into your boat…bad joke!!!)

Well, let’s visualize my dream to motivate me 🙂 . Basically to see a whale, I just need to answer to these very basic questions (plus LUCK): WHERE and WHEN to see? Normally, I will just Google for some readings, but when I come over Data Geek Challenge in SCN, I just think of an idea, to let SAP Lumira help me out with the findings, instead of let Google take out all the fun in the finding process 😉 (after my finding results I will use Google Search for verification 😀 )

OK, so here goes my data story.

First, I tried to search for raw data related to “WHALE” and “AUSTRALIA“. I came across this very useful data, showing Toothed-Whale found in Australia .Basically the data is an *.CSV file showing the data of toothed-whale encountered in Australia. The *.CSV file has total of 11,653 records, ranged from Year 1770 to 2013 (AWESOME!!!)

After that, I will try to have a general understanding on the data, by importing it into SAP Lumira, take a look at Facets tab, I will generally know what I have in hand to answer my questions.


OK, so after understanding my data, I need to ask questions and derive information from those data. My approach is that with every question, try to think of the exact data measurement related to it. For example:

Measurement: Geolocation

Questions Measurements
Where to see whales in Australia? Geolocation
When to see whales in Australia? Time

From understanding what I want to know, I will start creating Measures from the data before attempting to visualize it. SAP Lumira is very smart in detecting semantic elements from out data, so remember to pay attention on the suggestions on bottom-left of the program.

semantic 1.png

I have created two hierarchies from SAP Lumira suggestions, one for Geography and the other for Time

semantic 2.png

I also created other Measurements manually

– For text, we can apply function COUNT ALL or COUNT DISTINCT on it

– For numerical value, we can apply other functions like SUM, AVERAGE, etc.

So my data preparation is finished, here comes the fun part, to answer all questions that I have in my mind.

Where can I see whales in Australia?

To answer this question, I will try to find places that have most occurrence of whales. So a Geographic Choropleth Chart with Region by Count of Region will be a perfect choice 🙂

figure 1 - overall incidents.png

WHOA!!! Look like South Australia and Tasmania have the most whales encounters incidents. So which is the most seen whale? Tag Cloud, please help me! 😉

figure 3 - tag.png

Long-finned pilot whale (can it fly? 😛 ), in case you wonder how is it look like.

So far so good, let drill-down to know more about WHERE to see the whale. The data I have is so nice, it does have the longitude and latitude of the encounters. So a Scatter chart with Longitude and Latitude as Measures will help me.

figure 5 - longtitude and latitude.png

From above screenshot, we notice that Australia is around Longitude 150, and the spread of the dots told us that the whale encounters are spread out through Australia from South-West to South East 😉 . I hope this is equal with I have more chance to see whale 😛

Pretty much with the WHERE part, now we will come to the WHEN.

When can I see whale in Australia? Let’s say I’m going to travel to Australia, I will need to know which month I will have the highest chance to see the whales. A simple line chart with counting the month occurrences will help me.

figure 2 - no. whales in month.png

Seem like November is the good time 🙂 . So is it true for every year?

figure 4 - encountered by year.png

Back then like fifty to hundred years ago, the encounters was really low (I guess people just didn’t bother to capture the record at that times 😛 ). Then the encounters was really high from 1992 to 2008. But the sad part is…Why is there a such drastic drop of whales seen from 2008? 🙁

I highlighted the previous years in the chart, and choose “Exclude” button, the remaining result is the drill-down from 2010-2013.


The result was really sad… 🙁

figure 6 - recent years.png

Knowing that the data is not for the whole 2013 (last updated was 2013-04-18 14:28:17), but the downward trend of whales seen from 2008 to 2012 is really something to worry about.

I hope few years later, when I do more detail analysis on the data, the trend will change, and we will able to see more whale. From now on, I just do my little act,  do whatever I can to Save the Earth. I hope you will also do the same thing like me, as many little acts make a huge impacts.

Well, my data analysis story stops here. Thanks for bearing with me through the lengthy and bored story. I hope you like it and please feel free to comment 🙂

P.S. Just started using but I really like SAP Lumira, the data loading was fast and the chart rendering is fast also. I hope in the future, the product will have more functionalities (more aggregated functions, statistics methods, etc.)


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      Author's profile photo Starlet Abraham
      Starlet Abraham

      Good Job,

      I love what you have done here. Very good idea on implementing the SAP Lumira in your whale research.


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Nguyen,

      Good Day!

      Keep up the good work! I appreciate!

      Have a fruitful day!


      Hari Suseelan

      Author's profile photo Jitendra Kansal
      Jitendra Kansal

      Interesting analysis !!!