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.


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.



Managing Generation Y: Top 5 Attraction and Retention Factors [RESOURCE]

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Managing Gen YTo attract and retain Gen Y in this high-turnover era we must meet their top 5 workplace needs. This comes straight from our research of Australian Gen Y workers and in order of importance they look for:

1. Work/Life Balance

For Generation Y their job matters however it is not their life – but rather it provides funds that fuel their life. In addition to their job they may also be juggling study, friends, family, sport, other work and community involvements. So when it comes to their work schedule and overtime think: flexibility.

Remember: if there’s a clash in the work-life balance, life wins!

2. Workplace Culture

This has to do with the relationships with others at work. For Generation Y social connection with peers is one of the top retention factors. Not all of them have support from home so they are looking for a place to belong.

Remember: they want community, not a workplace. Friends not just colleagues.

3. Varied Job Role

Gen Y like change - it’s all they’ve ever known. So offer variety in their job description and combine it with responsibility and promotions where possible.

Remember: Many quit jobs not because there is a compelling reason to leave, but because there is no compelling reason to stay.

4. Management Style

The ideal supervisor is one who values communication not just authority. One who leads by example and involvement and not just by command and control. Gen Y’s are just beginning their careers so offer support, mentoring, positive feedback and public recognition.

As John Maxwell says “If you’re leading, and no one’s following – then you’re just out for a walk”.

5. Training

Generation Y know that in the 21st Century it is essential to keep their skills up to date. In fact 90% of Generation Y’s who receive regular training from their employer are motivated to stay with their employer.

So today training is more than a tool for productivity – it is a tool for retention.

Education in Australia McCrindle Research Future Forum [RESOURCE]

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mark McCrindle presents at the Education Future Forum 2013 on Education in AustraliaAt last week’s Education Future Forum, Mark McCrindle delivered an opening address entitled: Education in Australia: Current Realities, Community Attitudes, Emerging Trends.

The current realities was a statistical and demographic snapshot of schooling in Australia based on the ABS data. He outlines community attitudes towards schooling based on recent national research McCrindle Research has conducted which showed that while schools are innovating and increasingly engaging with students, they have yet to effectively communicate these shifts and the reasons for them to parents and the broader community who have a somewhat negative perception of the current practice of the school sector.

The final part was an overview of the seven emerging trends redefining schools:

  1. Tween Town
  2. Digital Integrators
  3. XYZ Schools
  4. Schools at the Cross Roads
  5. New Local
  6. Fragmentation
  7. Big Education

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