Bringing Research Data to Life

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Last week Mark delivered the keynote address at the Tableau Data Conference 2016 on Bringing Research Data to Life. Here is an excerpt of his presentation:

Management expert Tom Peters is well known for his phrase “What gets measured gets done.” But we could add to that: what gets visualised gets read. What gets effectively communicated gets acted upon!

That’s why research is at its best when it tells a story, when it paints a picture, when it’s visual, when it’s research you can see.

World’s-best research will only spread as far as the look of it allows. World-changing data will have no impact unless it is well designed. World-class information will remain unshared unless it is easily understood.

Here at McCrindle, we’re social researchers. But in many ways we’re all social researchers. We all observe our society, study the patterns, and draw insights and conclusions from what we see.

But more than that. We’re all visual researchers. We gather information from what we see, we gather data from what we observe. It is the research that we see that we respond to best. When making decisions, it is the visual cues which guide us. Wear marks in grass show the most popular path, a show of hands, the length of a queue- these are visual research methods we employ to make decisions.

We live in a visual world. Languages are not universal but symbols are. Pictures not statistics connect across the generations.

And so we’re moving from an information era to an infographic era. In a world of big data- we need visual data.

It’s called reSEARCH for a reason, They’re called inSIGHTS on purpose, it’s more about visuals that tables, graphics not just analytics – you’ve got to see it before you can act upon it! Inaccessible research in the form of statistical tables and lengthy explanations won’t transform organisations.

Statistics should be fun- like animation. People should be able to play with data. Research reports should not sit on shelves but be interacted with, and shared on social media, or printed on book marks or beamed onto buildings.

Big data doesn’t have to be boring data!

Data is too important to be left in the hands of statisticians alone. Research needs to get beyond the researchers. We’re in an era of the democratisation of information. For this to be realised, big data has to be set free- and research has to be made accessible to everyone.

Research methodologies matter. Quality analysis is important. But making the data visual, creating research that you can see, ensuring the information tells a story - that’s absolutely critical.

Research that makes a difference has to be seen with the eyes of your head as well as the eyes of your heart. It makes sense rationally, and connect with it viscerally.

It’s about turning tables into visuals, statistics into videos and big data into visual data.

But research can’t be applied until it’s been understood.

It needs to be seen not just studied.

And until the last excel table has been transformed there’s work to be done.

ABOUT MARK MCCRINDLE

Mark is an award-winning social researcher, best-selling author, TedX speaker and influential thought leader, and is regularly commissioned to deliver strategy and advice to the boards and executive committees of some of Australia’s leading organisations.

Mark’s understanding of the key social trends as well as his engaging communication style places him in high demand in the press, on radio and on television shows, such as Sunrise, Today, The Morning Show, ABC News 24 and A Current Affair.

His research firm counts amongst its clients more than 100 of Australia’s largest companies and his highly valued reports and infographics have developed his regard as a data scientist, demographer, futurist and social commentator.


WATCH MARK'S TEDX TALK ON BRINGING RESEARCH DATA TO LIFE HERE

DOWNLOAD MARK'S SPEAKING PACK HERE

Q and A: Offline Parenting in an Online World

Friday, October 02, 2015

What are the key strategies to offline parenting in an online world?

Parents today are faced with an unprecedented challenge of raising their children to be engaged offline in a world dominated by online options. A recent study conducted by McCrindle Research showed that whilst 44% of the older generations see the benefit of technology to children in enhancing learning and productivity, two thirds (65%) said that they believe that school aged students today spend too much time on technology.

In a society where digital is default, parents often feel the tension of raising their children in these technologically saturated times yet ensuring that they have the timeless characteristics and qualities to thrive in the offline environment. Parents see firsthand the extraordinary opportunities that technology facilitates, yet their experience tells them that managing their children’s screen time and ensuring they gain life skills and social skills is also essential.

We often forget how quickly this great screen age has emerged. Facebook went public just a decade ago and the tablet devices which facilitate so much learning and interaction such as the iPad arrived just half a decade ago. While many of the benefits to this first-ever digitally-based, wif- connected, social-media driven, global generation are evident, so are some emerging challenges. 1 in 4 Australians aged 15-17 have not participated in any form of physical recreation or sport in the last 12 months and for those aged 18-24 it is 1 in 3. These “screenagers” have a propensity towards increased sedentary lifestyles and based on the current overweight trends amongst Australia’s youth, by 2027, when all of Generation Z have reached adulthood, 78% of males and 62% of females in this generation are likely to be overweight. Young people spending hours in front of screens is not new. Today’s parents averaged around 3 hours of TV time per day during their formative years. However the TV screen is a “lean back” screen and did not generate the same levels of time use, sleep impediments and addictive patterns of the portable, interactive and connected “lean forward” screens of today.

Parents are the key influencers when it comes to shaping the priorities and lifestyle habits of their children, so households where active offline activities are modelled, prioritised and encouraged are likely to see the rewards of these behaviours established in the next generation. Parents have the opportunity to encourage their children to engage in physical recreation not just virtual entertainment, in offline communities’ not just online networks, and face to face interaction not just screen-based communication. And if the modelling and encouraging is too subtle, parents ought remember that they are paying the internet and mobile accounts and they are in charge. Oh, and every modem comes with an off switch!

More on effective parenting strategies can be found in Mark McCrindle’s book The ABC of XYZ: Understanding The Global Generations.


Challenges facing not-for-profits

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Thinking for tomorrow, planning today

Our social research and trends analysis consistently highlights the speed, scale and scope of change. Only occasionally in history do massive demographic shifts combined with rapid social change, huge generational transitions and ongoing technology trends so that within the span of a decade, society altogether alters. Today we are in the midst of one such transformative decade- which will take us to 2020. Our partners in the Australian Community Trends Report are the team at R2L and their Principal John Rose here provides his top 7 tips for not-for-profit organisations.

  1. Speak to your context
  2. Understand your organisation’s key client segments and their values, knowledge and concerns.

  3. Be seen and known
  4. Position your organisation to be recognised as thought-leaders, influencers, and innovators.

  5. Inspire and engage
  6. Provide a positive experience for donors, clients and beneficiaries so that they not only feel part of your organisation, but part of the issue that your organisation supports.

  7. Finesse, fine-tune and focus
  8. Focus on the important messages and discard what is not essential.

  9. Communicate the need, and plan for the long-term
  10. Finance the future, don’t just fundraise for the now but set up the financial future of your organisation.

  11. Act as a leader
  12. Lead not only your team, but your cause and your stakeholder community.

  13. Be the agent of change
  14. Be accountable and demonstrate the change that your organisation is making.

Not-for-profit organisations are invited to take part in the Australian Community Trends Report.

For more information about the study please click here or contact Kirsten Brewer on (02) 8824 3422 or kirsten@mccrindle.com.au


The Who, What and Why of Generation Z and Generation Alpha

Friday, April 17, 2015

The students of our world, at schools and universities are the children of Generation X, the cohort that follows Generation Y, and born from 1995 to 2009 they are Generation Z. And following them we have our Gen Alpha's born since 2010. These emerging generations have and are growing up in a time like no other we have seen before. They are the world's first truly global generations, constantly logged up and linked in. They are empowered by having access to every piece of information within a few clicks of a button, and here we find ourselves with the challenge of teaching and educating, of shaping, moulding and developing these emerging generations. 

GENERATION Z

Those filling your schools today are labelled ‘Generation Z’ – born between 1995 and 2009, this generation currently make up 1 in 5 in our population. They make up just 1 in 10 in the workforce, but in a decades time they will make up over a quarter.

When they’re talking about a library they mean they’re playlist on iTunes. They speak and they write in a new language – if they can shorten it, they will. They are content creators, and their idea of an encyclopaedia is one that you can change and contribute to.

While they are constantly reading it’s rarely a book from cover to cover, and after all they are visual communicators, so why read it when you can watch it?

They speak another language like ‘totes’, ‘chron’ ‘chillax’ ‘epic’ ‘frothing’ fo shiz’ ‘cray cray’ ‘yolo’!

GEN ALPHA

And following our Gen Zeds we have Generation Alpha, the kindergarten and preschool children of today. Generation Alpha are likely to have just one sibling, and if they are a boy they’re likely to be called Oliver, William or Jack, and if a girl, Charlotte, Olivia or Ava.

Born since 2010, there are 2.5 million Gen Alphas born around the globe every single week. And the year that they were first born coincided with the launch of the iPad. In case you were wondering they have no idea what a broken record is, nor what you mean when you say they sound like one. They’ve probably never seen a camera that required film, and will probably never have to wait for their photos to be developed.

Glass was something we were told to not touch so it didn’t leave any grubby finger-marks, where as they are growing up with glass being something that they touch, swipe and interact with every single day. The only phones they’ve ever seen also take photos, record videos, access the internet, can download a million apps and have just one button, a fairway from the landline telephones that you could take off the hook. In fact now if you’re left without your mobile phone for a day, maybe you’ve left it at home or the battery’s died, the term is that you have been ‘land lined’.

Whilst Baby Boomers can remember the introduction of the colour TV in the 1970s, Gen Zeds and Gen Alphas can flick up a YouTube video from a smartphone onto the apple TV with ease. They are logged on and linked up, they’re digital natives, and they are the most materially endowed, technologically literate generation to ever grace the planet.

They are empowered by having access to every piece of information within a few clicks of a button and right there is where we find ourselves with the challenge of teaching and educating, of shaping, moulding and developing these emerging generations.

Find out more

Market and Social Research Solutions

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

At McCrindle we are engaged by some of the leading brands and most effective organisations across Australia and internationally to help them 
understand the ever-changing external environment in which they operate and to assist them in identifying and responding to the key trends. 

For us research is not a list of survey methods but a passion to find answers. It is more than a matter of questionnaires and focus groups – it is a quest to make the unknown known. The best research clarifies the complex and reveals insights in a way that can be seen and not just read. 

Only when the findings are visually displayed, engagingly presented and strategically workshopped can they have maximum impact – and be implemented effectively.



For a more in-depth and detailed description of our Research offerings, please download our Market and Social Research Solutions Pack by clicking here.

Are libraries a thing of the past?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The library – home to books and information, including volumes of research by those gone before.

For generations past the library was nothing short of a fountain of knowledge and relevance, but for the emerging generations growing up in an increasingly digitalised age, has the necessity for a library been replaced by touch screens and online search engines?

AN ERA OF UNPRECEDENTED CHANGE

It is undisputed that today we live in an era of unprecedented change and development. The way we work, communicate and socialise has been greatly influenced by the extraordinary technological advancements we have seen over the past 2 decades. For example, it was only in 1997 that Google was registered as a domain and today there are over 3.5 billion Google searches each day.

The internet has transformed how we access information. In many cases, the data available to us online has replaced the need to locate the same information in books.

REMAINING RELEVANT

It is imperative that in this era of change, organisations, institutions and individuals remain relevant and engaged with the current trends. Education is at the forefront of needing to adapt to change as the emerging generations redefine learning. School students are still being assessed by closed book exams in an open book world but a shift has occurred among learners from needing to memorise things ‘just in case’ to simply accessing information ‘just in time’.

PRINT VS. DIGITAL

We needn’t look far for examples of organisations that have become outdated and irrelevant due to the huge technological shift we have seen characterise the last two decades.

Take Encyclopaedia Britannica, a trusted source that many depended on for their school assignments, whose first print edition was published in 1768. In 2010 it ran its final print edition, having been superseded by Wikipedia, invented just 9 years prior in 2001. Rather than being written by experts, Wikipedia is written by the collaborative community and currently has over 4.6 million pages in English alone. It exists as an astonishing example of the change we have seen in the learning, sharing and distribution of resources, knowledge and information.

Similarly, let’s look at Angus and Robertson, an iconic Australian bookseller, book publisher and book printer. Established in 1884, it went into voluntary administration in 2011 along with competitor Borders, showing the shift from the demand for print to the demand for digital.

LIBRARIES TODAY

If we look at school libraries and education today, some have transitioned into a completely digital and virtual model – libraries with no books at all – a concept we would not have fathomed a decade ago. Libraries are now being reinvented as engaging learning spaces where people can access information from their personal devices. Amazingly, today it is even possible to complete a university degree without stepping foot in a university library.

Libraries are experiencing significant change and librarians are no longer the only people with the keys to access the information. In the past, data was costly and difficult to access but now, students can access every piece of information within a few clicks of a button. Technologies have enabled greater efficiencies – and so, traditional ways of finding information are being surpassed with newer, quicker alternatives. For example, locating a book on library shelves by conducting a Boolean search is being replaced by a Google Docs search which provides the latest information on any device and in any location by the mere click of a button or touch of a screen.

WILL LIBRARIES CEASE TO EXIST ALTOGETHER?

While digital media will increasingly be utilised and adapted because of the efficiencies that it enables, humans are still tactile and kinaesthetic learners. The process of connecting pen to paper, turning pages in a book, and physically interacting with the information we consume is unlikely to be completely replaced by the digital offering.

Welcome to McCrindle Research Rooms

Friday, November 14, 2014

As social researchers, we understand the importance of research in informing the strategic direction of organisations. Understanding your customer and client base is key to this – so organisations who invest in research often thrive as a result, because changes and adaptions have been tested in and amongst their communities, consumers and clients. A core methodology to understand customers and clients is through qualitative focus groups – and here at McCrindle not only do we conduct this research, we also make our research room facilities available to others for hire.

McCrindle Research Rooms



McCrindle Research Rooms are fully equipped with all that you need to successfully conduct your focus groups, with a one way mirror, viewing room and recording facilities available.


Some other great features of our Research Rooms include:

• A great, convenient and easily accessible location

• Low price and great value

• No cancellation fee


For further information, head to researchrooms.com, or give us a call on 02 8824 3422.

If you would like to make a booking, please email through to kirsten@mccrindle.com.au


We look forward to welcoming you to our research rooms soon!

The Duke of Edinburgh Youth Pulse Research

Thursday, November 06, 2014
Claire and Kirsten at Youth Pulse Research Event

It was a privilege for our research to be featured at the KMPG Melbourne Cup Luncheon on Tuesday.

In attendance was Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, to commemorate more than 50 years of the Duke of Edinburgh Award in Australia.

As part of the Youth Pulse Research for The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in Australia, two of our team, Claire Madden and Kirsten Brewer were also honored to attend.

Youth Pulse Research

The Youth Pulse Research was designed and conducted in September 2014 on behalf of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in Australia. As an annual survey, involving 879* Australian young people aged between 14 and 19 years of age from every state and territory in Australia, it seeks to better understand their attitudes, opinions and sentiment towards leadership, well being and community among young Australians.

The Top Findings

• Relationships and family the highest priority for young Australians today (68%)

• Influence over others considered for greater impact than a position of power

• Change starts locally, with young Australians taking ownership of their contribution for influence on those around them and within their local community

• Empowering leadership styles take precedence over traditional models

• Youth of today optimistic about Australia’s future (55% are Expectant Optimists)

• Nelson Mandela named the most inspiring leader from recent history, with 92% agreeing that leadership is about influence not authority, and 90% agreeing that leaders building teams is more important than managing tasks


Youth Pulse Research


The full report will be made available on the 17th November 2014.

*879 respondents aged 14-19 with 603 fully responding and 279 partially responding.


For more information on research visualisation, click here.

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

Monday, August 25, 2014

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.

Being busy – which can 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. Here are 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

Find out more

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.

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:

Find out more

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