Our Past

The Data Foundry came about when Brad Coughlan and Graeme Strange first laid out a few simple principles on a whiteboard in the studio in Brad’s back yard in September of 2019.


Graeme had successfully built Readify into a Microsoft partner powerhouse that was eventually acquired by Telstra in 2016 and Brad had held senior leadership roles with Logica, Microsoft and AWS over the prior 30+ years.


They both wanted to build something that leveraged their considerable combined experience, capitalised on what had worked successfully in the past but, at the same time, avoided all the mistakes they had made along the way.


The first principle was to build a customer-centric company that truly started with the customer and worked backwards. In other words, build something that represented what customers had always said they were looking for in a technology partner, but could rarely find.


The second was to provide employees with a career rather than a job by essentially understanding what training, skills, experience, certifications and projects would truly unlock their potential, then putting in place customised Growth and Development plans to make sure that happened. Recognising their inherent strengths and weaknesses, Graeme and Brad realised that one of the keys to the company’s future success, was to hire great people, set them up for success, then get out of their way.


The third was about becoming a first class member of the data, open source and AWS technical communities that they operated within.  Not only by drawing from the amazing groundwork that others had laid before them, but by proactively looking for opportunities to give something back to the ecosystem that they continued to benefit from.


The fourth was a variation on giving something back and revolved around championing local causes that meant something to each employee, personally. They  were fans of the “think global, act local” mantra, but wanted a way of making that practical and real, so that small donations of time and money could result in a disproportionately positive impact on those around them who needed it most.


The fifth was based on a recognition that if they waited for collective national and state governments to do something tangible about climate change, they’d never see meaningful inroads in their lifetime. They figured that if they were to play s small part in minimising their impact on the planet, and if every other company like them did the same thing at a scale appropriate to their size then, collectively, they might all just have a chance of slowing the consequences of global warming.


Over time, these five principles became known as the “Five C’s” – the pillars on which they built the company:


  • customers
  • career
  • community
  • cause
  • climate change
And so with a passion for taking on big challenges, solving gnarly customer problems, and building solutions that truly turned data into insight, The Data Foundry (TDF) was launched at the end of 2019.


Jeff Bezos would often wheel an empty chair into meetings at Amazon HQ and use it to remind the gathered executives that “the most important person in the room” was the customer.


At TDF, everything we do starts with the customer first, then works backwards from there.  Rather than build a range of hammers only to assume that every customer requirement looks like a nail, we spend a lot of time upfront, understanding exactly what problem the customer is trying to solve, what insights they need to derive from their data and what success looks like – before we even start turning our attention to what the solution could or should be.


“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time.  We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.  We are the change that we seek.”

Former US President Barack Obama 

Every quarter at TDF, a different employee nominates a different cause. Something or someone local, where our small, targeted contribution can have a positive, practical impact on people’s lives.


“The greatest danger for all of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that our aim is too low and we reach it.” 


We are passionate about our people and their careers.  We have deliberately designed our Growth and Development Program to provide them with the time, tools and experience to continually develop their professional capabilities by focusing on the training, certifications, skills, experience and projects they need to grow professionally and personally.


“Technology is anything that wasn’t around when you were born.”

Alan Kay (Computer Scientist)

We believe in making ongoing contributions to the technical community that we draw so much insight and inspiration from.  Whether this is by way of publishing code samples, hosting meetups, writing blog posts or delivering technical presentations – we believe that others should benefit from our work in the same way that we have benefited from theirs.

Climate Change

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” 

Native American Proverb 

At TDF, we take climate change seriously and believe in doing our part to address the implications of climate change and reducing our own carbon footprint.  We realise that alone we won’t make significant inroads but we are ever hopeful that, if enough people and businesses around the planet feel the same way as we do, we can all act locally and, in aggregate, do something tangible about it.

Our Present

Fast-forward almost two years from that initial planning session in the studio and TDF is now a thriving scale-up with an impressive track record of very successful customer-focused projects and a rapidly-expanding customer base. We have delivered insight-driven projects for customers across Australia, that include data engineering, data onboarding, data lakes, data visualisation, data analytics and data science solutions.


We are an AWS Advanced Partner, an AWS Public Sector Partner and we are on procurement panels across federal and state governments including the Commonwealth Digital Marketplace, NSW SCM0020 & buy.nsw, WA CUAICTS2021 and VIC eServices.


We have more than doubled YoY revenue and headcount over the last 12 months and we have rapidly-expanding teams located in Melbourne, Victoria and Sydney, New South Wales, supporting our customers in the southern and northern regions of Australia, respectively.

Our Future

We simply aspire to:


  • build a truly customer-centric, data, analytics & ML business, from the ground up
  • genuinely help our customers turn their data into insight
  • become one of AWS Australia’s “go to” partners for all things data, analytics & ML
  • build a reputation as a data, analytics & ML partner that prioritises quality over quantity
  • become an employer of choice, that candidates proactively seek out in the data, analytics & ML space
  • take a long-term view when it comes to building relationships with, and projects for, customers
  • have some fun along the way


Even though we are growing fast, we are entirely self-funded and have no external debt. All of our profit goes back into supporting our customers, growing the business and developing our employees.


We have managed to attract some amazing employees from a range of different technical disciplines, countries and cultures, resulting in the ability to bring a diversity of thought to our customers and their projects, that is built on the art of the possible rather than the science of how it’s always been done before.


We welcome customer questions.  We don’t always know the answers but we usually know where to find them.


We also welcome prospective employee enquiries. We don’t always have a role open but we have a very good radar for great talent and will always mould a role around  amazing candidates, as and when they emerge.


Whether you are a prospective customer or a prospective employee, please reach out and see if The Data Foundry is the kind of company that you could see yourself working with or for, in the not too distant future.