McCrindle Team Update

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Research Visualisation

As Australia’s social researchers we take the pulse of the nation, we research communities, we survey society, we analyse the trends and we communicate the findings.

Our people are passionate and professional, solutions focused and innovative, and it is with great excitement that today we announce the addition of two new members to the McCrindle team.

Growing by a third of our current size, yesterday we welcomed Karl Wetzel and Nathan McMillan to the team. Both Karl and Nathan bring with them a wealth of experience and knowledge, ready to better our strong team of communicators, analysts and researchers.

Not only is McCrindle expanding in terms of its size, we are also expanding in our capacity to assist and influence. We are excited to inform our past, present and future clients that our Melbourne office will be opening in the coming weeks, and that some of our team will also be working from Newcastle.

As the times change and the need for relevance becomes all the more important, we look forward to how we can best help organisations adapt, respond to, and know the times more effectively than ever before.

To find out more about what we do, click here.

The Power of Visual: Top 5 Reasons That Research Visualisation Works

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Research Visualisation

In an era of big data and information overload, the challenge for organisations is to deliver quality content in a compelling way. Attention spans are shorter, distractions are ever-present, and in this screenage, content is best presented visually.

And that's why we’re passionate about turning tables into visuals, data into videos and reports into presentations. As researchers, we understand the methods but we’re also designers and we know what will communicate, and how to best engage. We’re in the business of making you look good and your data make sense.

Top 5 reasons why research is going visual

  1. In the 21st Century, visual literacy is very strong and most people can interpret visuals far more quickly than reading information.
  2. The brain retains visual content more effectively than written content. The reason memory experts and mnemonic tools use visual patterns is because unlike letters and numbers, there are no limits to the retention of visuals.
  3. In a world of big data you need a form which will communicate a massive amount of information in an easily understandable form. That's why the very important cousin of big data is visual data.
  4. Within a decade, 58% of the workforce will be comprised of Generations Y and Z. For these generations who are adept at watching a video explaining something over reading an article about something, and for a busy, easily distracted business audience, you need your data to tell a story, to move, to engage. That’s what visual and animated data is all about.
  5. Interact. Share. Like. When people hear- they forget, when they see- they are impacted, but when they interact- they are transformed. From apps to interactive splash pages, engagement with your data means being influenced by your data. The Holy Grail for business today is to create an active community of customers who engage and connect. When research and data tells a visual story, it is ready made to be interacted with, shared and liked.

Visit the Research Visualisation website or have a look at our infographics to find out more.

Research Visualisation Title Image

Research You Can See

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

McCrindle Infographic Wall

At McCrindle we're passionate about research that adds to understanding and leads to action. The sort of research that you can see not just read. Research that sits on a wall not in a folder. Because research should not sit on shelves but be presented in infographic form and shared on social media, or banners or buildings. We are excited to have transformed our foyer with a wall sized infographic.

Infographic Wall

Our research visualisation team have transformed research of many of our clients now - onto printed infographic cards, web splash pages, posters, animated videos, interactive annual reports, media campaigns - and now wall paper and pull up banners.

Infographic Wall

The Future of Shopping [IN THE MEDIA]

Friday, October 03, 2014

Mark McCrindle The Future of ShoppingFrom an ageing population to changing household structures, from population growth to generational change, and from increased sophistication to growing expectations, Australia has changed significantly over the last 20 years. An additional 8 million people have called our nation home and demographically we are ageing, having added 6.8 years to our median age and 6.3 years to our life expectancy. Our families are changing as marriages and births take place later and more babies are born than ever before.

These changes have striking implications for supermarket shopping. As economic, population and technological growth continues, supermarkets will respond to the demand for new innovations and shopping will be transformed into a vastly different experience than what it is today. By 2034, the transformation of our lives through technology will have disrupted how we think about shopping, what we buy, and where and how we shop. The shopping experience of the future will start much earlier than the moment we enter a store. It will begin at the time we make decisions about food. More and more, these decisions will be socially informed by recommendations made by family and friends as well as our digital communities with whom we share common interests – in hobbies, lifestyle or values.

Watch Mark talking about the future of shopping below or read more about our research in the Woolworths Future of Fresh report here.

Australia in 2034: What will our nation look like in 20 years?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

By 2034 Australia will have 33 million people and the dream of owning that quarter acre block will be nearly gone. What will Australia look like, how is our workforce changing, will households be smaller and will we recognise this new version of the ‘Aussie Dream’?

Mark McCrindle addresses these issues on a recent segment of Channel 7’s Morning Show. Australia is currently the fastest growing OECD nation and in 20 years time we will have an additional 10 million people calling Australia home. “It’s going to continue to boom, “ Mark says. “We are adding almost a million people every 2 years. And we are the fastest growing developed nation on the planet at the moment.”

Whilst a population boom brings the bonus of size, economies of scale and diversity in our cultural makeup it can also have negative impacts. The pain will be felt in rising house prices, traffic congestion and increased waiting time for public services. The increase in housing density will mean that the vast expanse of the Australian outback will remain virtually as it is but the major cities will continue to expand, particularly upwards, with more people living in apartments than ever before. The cherished Aussie dream of the quarter acre block will be gone, replaced by new land release block sizes which currently average 423 square metres or a tenth of an acre block.

Just as the population will grow larger it will also get older with more people aged over 85 years than ever before. People are living longer and living alone for longer, leading to an increase in at home care and multi-generational households. The rise in house prices coupled with an ageing population will see many families living living together with mum and dad caring for their own children as well as for their ageing parents. Mark explains, “We’ve been on this trend of smaller households for a century. We had 4.5 people per household 100 years ago. Now we are at 2.6 but we’ve turned the corner and we’ve got slightly larger households now, not that we are having more kids, just that we have more people under the one roof because of housing affordability.”

‘Density’ will be the word to describe Australia in 2034. More people will be living in more households on smaller bocks of land with more houses and apartments per square kilometre. There will be more people but fewer people of working age relative to the growing population. Mark says, “We are going to have older workers – the population is growing, Australia is going through a baby boom and people are living linger. Yet the working age proportion is not keeping pace with that population growth. So now we’ve got about 5 people for every retiree but in 40 years time we’ll have about half that – 2.7 people of working age for every retiree”. As a result people will be working longer with many not retiring until well into their 70’s! However, life expectancy at birth will be almost 90 by then.

Australia will be bigger, older, denser and even more multicultural in 20 years time! Some ‘Aussie Dreams’ will have disappeared such as the ‘quarter acre block’ and along with it the Hills Hoist garden shed and enough space for a game of backyard cricket. But no doubt new ‘Aussie Dreams’ will come to replace them – it is the Lucky Country after all!

Next Gen Dads: Parenting Screenagers and Digital Natives

Thursday, September 04, 2014

More Dads Than Ever

1 in 5 Australians are dads. There are approximately 4.6 million fathers in Australia, with an estimated 2.2 million of these have children aged under 18. The median age of a first-time dad today is 31, so today’s emerging generation of dads are Gen Yers.

New Record Baby Boom

We are currently experiencing a baby boom in Australia, with birth numbers setting new records and exceeding 310,000 per year. This means that Gen Y will produce more children than any previous generation in Australia’s history. While the number of children per Gen Y family is significantly less than that of their grandparents (in 1961 the total fertility rate hit 3.5 births per woman), Generation Y parents are having more parents per couple than Generation X did. When Generation X were in their peak fertility years (turning 31 in 2001), this coincided with the very year Australia hit its lowest birth rate ever recorded in Australia (1.7). Now as Generation Y are reaching their peak fertility years we have a birth rate significantly higher, hovering around 2.0.

Introducing Generation Alpha

These Gen Y parents are giving birth to Generation Alpha – the cohort born since 2010. Generation Alpha are not only going to be the largest generation Australia has ever seen, but also the most globally connected, technologically savvy and materially endowed. Generation Y are delaying the traditional life markers, commencing their families in their 30s (compared to previous generations who did so in their 20s) so not only do they have many more years of earnings before they start their families, but they are also more likely to be double income households.

Parenting Screenagers

Generation Alpha are the first generation of children to be shaped in an era of portable digital devices, and for many, the pacifiers have not been a rattle or set of keys but a smartphone or tablet device. A key role of fathers has always been to create a safe and supportive environment in which their children can thrive and these days this involves more than providing a physically secure home but also a cybersafe home. 96% of households with children having internet access and Gen Alpha are using personal digital devices at an ever younger age. However, Generation Y parents have been shaped in the digital world and so are better equipped to respond to new parenting challenges of managing cyberbullying, watching out for screen addiction, and ensuring child-friendly content.

The Modern Dad

Our past research has found that Generation Y dads are not as competent and confident as their fathers were to change the oil in their car, repair a punctured bicycle tyre or fix a leaky tap, but in many ways, in an outsourcing era they’re able to buy replacements or outsource those services and they don’t need to do all those things themselves. Why they may have lost some of these traditional skills, they have picked up some new ones. Our research showed they are far more likely to be confident in changing a baby’s nappy, doing a grocery shop, buying clothes for their children and cooking a meal for their family.

Busier Than Ever

If fathers are feeling busier than ever, that’s because they are. The labour force participation rate shows that almost 4 in 5 fathers with dependent children participate in the labour force, with more than half of them working full time (an average of 7 hours 25 minutes per day) and yet at the same time, those with children aged under 15 are spending more time with their children, averaging 3 hours and 55 minutes per day. Additionally, almost half of all dads with kids aged up to 17 years old are also volunteering (46%), dads with full-time jobs are spending around 80 minutes a day on domestic work. So there’s little surprise that over a third of Australian men (34.9%) say that they always or often feel rushed or pressed for time, and 1 in 6 (16.3%) feel that their work and family responsibilities are rarely or never in balance.

Next Generation Parents

In the year that the oldest Gen Ys first became fathers in record numbers (2010), the iPad entered the market, “app” was the word of the year and Instagram was launched. Clearly they are parenting in a very different era to any other generation and will be facing new challenges never seen before.

The Future of Fresh: Transforming the fresh food landscape into 2034

Monday, August 25, 2014

Woolworths recently commissioned McCrindle to paint a picture of how Australia will be shopping in 20 years time through the use of demographic data, future forecasting, and new research among supermarket shoppers.

The Future of Fresh report reveals the way Australians will shop in 2034, focusing on the predicted purchasing habits of emerging Generation Alpha, new approaches to fresh food and a shift in the perception of our sense of what is local.

Gen Alpha will respond to a whole new set of influences and trends to inform their shopping habits. They will team up with neighbours and friend to make shopping a social experience in which the supermarket becomes a hub for real world living.

As economic, population and technological growth continues, supermarkets will respond to the demand for new innovations and shopping will be transformed into a vastly different experience than what it is today. Within the next twenty years, the transformation of our lives through technology will have disrupted how we think about shopping, what we buy, and where and how we shop.

The report reveals a continuing shift towards fresh, hyper-local produce and the convergence of new technologies to make grocery shopping a more innovative and immersive experience. Australian shoppers will continue to demand a back-to-basics approach – food that is organic, local, fresh, and delivered daily.

Leading social researcher Mark McCrindle comments on the findings, stating, “The research reveals that supermarkets have emerged as the number 1 gathering place within most communities. Nearly 40% of Australians cite the local shopping centre as a hub and this will be even more the case as technology continues to facilitate interactions with those who live, shop or work near us.”

“68% of shoppers are actively seeking out products on discount and this will remain a priority in the store of the future, but the term ‘value’ will come to mean much more than just greater prices incorporating more ethical and lifestyle considerations, like sustainability, health benefits and giving back to the community.”

The research process was truly collaborative, Mark says. “It was exciting working with Woolworths Chair of Innovation, Professor Jan Recker, on this project, collating QUT research with our national survey into Australia’s current shopping habits alongside analysis of ABS and Woolworths data. The future will look very different for tomorrow’s supermarket shopper, and the Future of Fresh report presents just some of the major trends that will shape how we will engage with the foods we buy in the decades ahead.”

Read the Future of Fresh Report and the media release here


The Busy Epidemic: How to slow down in an on-the-go world [in the media]

Monday, August 25, 2014

Claire Madden joins Channel Seven’s Daily Edition team to discuss slowing down and managing busyness in our lives.

“In the late 1990s we entered a virtual world in which we now spend more time in digital realities than face to face interactions. Today’s younger generations have grown up in a world of technological devices – they are true digital integrators and technology has become like an extension of their limbs,” Claire says.

Claire mentions that being busy – often seen as a badge of honour – can in fact be detrimental to our psychological health, our physical health, and even our relational health. The feeling of always needing to be ‘on’ takes away from our ability to wind down and engage in the present moment.

While technology enables us to achieve greater things than ever before in a far shorter period of time, thus helping us reach goals and stay motivated, there are tools we use to manage it, rather than having it manage us. Claire mentions three tips for managing the interruptive nature of technology:

  • Prioritise being present in the moment
  • Create space for clarity, creativity and reflection
  • Use technology as a tool

Watch the full interview below and read Claire’s latest blog entry,'Staying grounded in a world of busy' and the SMH article, 'Being busy is good, but being less busy can be better' for more.

Claire Madden Speaks: Staying grounded in a world of busy

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Is being busy really such a bad thing?

Being busy can be great if we are staying motivated, reaching our goals, making a difference, and fulfilling varied roles – whether as a parent, in our vocation or in other areas of life.

Busyness not equal to productivity:

However in our 21st century we have somehow created a virtue of busyness – that by being busy it must mean we are successful. Yet busyness is an ineffective measure of our productivity, impact or success. Busyness is completely decoupled from sustainable achievement and effectiveness. In our digital era where we are always connected and “on”, we can get so caught up in being busy that we miss the important things in life – such as giving attention and focus to the relationships around us or progressing towards important goals.

We have not only filled the big blocks in our life with technology but also the smaller spaces – those times in our day which used to be built into our lives for reflection and pondering are now crammed out with checking emails, watching YouTube videos or playing apps like Candy Crush. This leads to a feeling of being constantly connected and constantly switched on.

Technology enabling efficiencies:

What technology enables us to do is extraordinary. What used to take hours can take just moments and it can certainly provide far more connections, increase accessibility and enable great efficiencies. Technology is facilitating an ease of lifestyle – from GPS navigation to checking into flights from your mobile and from being able to access your calendar and avoid double bookings to being able to access documents stored in the cloud from any location, the shortcuts provided to us are ever-growing.

Technology creating complexities:

But whilst providing many solutions to simplify our lives, it has also created greater complexities. Technology creates far more volumes of work to respond to and new platforms are always evolving – from emails to texts, instant messaging and social media platforms, it can seem impossible to keep up with them all at times. Technology by its nature is interruptive. It has created a mindset of immediacy and instant response, cutting through what used to be a structured day.

There is growing immediacy in the expectation that others have in getting a response to their emails within minutes and hours rather than days. Communication has become reactionary and we are living in an era of expectation inflation where we are expected to respond to everything, even though there are no limits on the number of emails or instant messages we receive. This can put pressure on us to try to get back to others all the time – and never feel like we are on top of it – leading to feelings of being overwhelmed.

Technology as a tool:

We need to remember to treat technology as a tool that can serve us, rather than a tool that we serve. When our connection to technology begins to have a negative effect on our mental health through stress, on our physical health through fatigue and lack of sleep, and on our relational health where we become short and snappy with colleagues or family and friends, we need to take a step back from it and recalibrate to prioritise what we really value in life.

By its nature, technology will interrupt. It will try to grab our attention through texts, push notifications, and the addiction we can have to constantly being wired. We need to realise that constantly being connected and busy doesn't equate with being effective or successful. For creativity to flow we need time and space so that we can lead and manage from a strategic perspective. Having self-discipline to disconnect from technology at different points in our day and in our week can help us keep a sustainable pace.

There will always be more emails, more tweets and more texts. The challenge is learning to be present in the moment – giving our attention to friends and family over a meal rather than to our smartphones – and reminding ourselves that technology is a tool rather than a direction setter and something that we can learn to place parameters around.

-Claire Madden

Read the latest article, "Being busy is good, but being less busy can be better" featuring Claire Madden in the SMH by clicking the image below:

Claire Madden is a social researcher and next-gen expert. She is the Director of Research at the internationally recognised McCrindle Research. Armed with her research methodologies, business acumen and communication skills, Claire effectively bridges the gap between the emerging generations and the business leaders and educators of today. She is fluent in the social media, youth culture, and engagement styles of these global generations, and a professional in interpreting what this means for educators, managers and marketers.

Winter Waggers: Peak season to call in sick [in the media]

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Every work day 300,000 Aussie workers will take a ‘sickie,’ with 1 in 20 full-time employees in Australia off sick. While chucking a sickie has become a solid tradition for many, whether to extend a long weekend or simply because employees don’t feel up to a day at work, these absences are costing Australian businesses 100 million dollars per day.

Gone are the days when workers proudly boasted of never having taken a sick day in their working life, with ‘doona days’ now seen to be a right claimed by most Australians.

Social researcher Mark McCrindle explores worker absenteeism on Channel 7’s Morning Show and discusses whether work sick day policies are in need of an overhaul or if indeed staying home when feeling slightly unwell may actually be better for everyone. Although sick days lead to 28 billion dollars of lost productivity, coming to work sick may cause far more harm to colleagues and an exponential loss to team productivity.

Mark McCrindle states, “Worse than chucking a sickie when it’s not legitimate is turning up to work when a sick day would be warranted. Particularly in this era of the open plan office with hot-desking, people are moving and sharing a lot more and there’s more interaction than we used to have. You’ve also got the air conditioning which can spread illness amongst the whole team more quickly than in the past”.

Gen Ys are leading the ‘sickie’ charge. “You do find that with the younger generation, they are taking more sick leave then you would expect young people to have,” Mark explains. The perception of a stoic older generation rings true in regards to sick days. “If you look at the general population, older people have the highest sickness incidents and younger people are healthier, but in the workplace it’s the opposite actually. And younger people are taking more sick days than you would expect. Partly that’s because they’re “chucking a sickie.”

Watch the latest segment and let us know what you think – should Aussies just ‘suck it up’ and go to work or be on the cautious side of things and take that ‘sickie’?

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