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Never using complex jargon where simpler language will do, while ensuring data and analysis are presented clearly and concisely;

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Creating research that can be easily used by a wide variety of stakeholders, so that reports aren’t just left to languish in a filing cabinet.

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Landlines vs. mobiles – who’s winning?

In this issue:

  • Landlines vs. mobiles – the latest data
  • Just how dangerous are young drivers?
  • Want to fine-tune your research skills?
  • Meet our new Sydney account manager!

Despite the continuing popularity of residential phone surveys, concerns obviously continue to be raised about the rise of “mobile-only” households – i.e. those without a fixed line telephone. To that end, the recent publication of ACMA’s 2013-14 Communications Report provides some interesting insights into how Australians are managing their communications.

The most interesting finding is that almost three -quarters of Australian households (73 per cent in fact) still have a landline – down 2 per cent on the previous year. While the trend suggests that landline usage will continue to decline in coming years, the slide is not yet alarming. And if you tried to imagine a cost-effective, geographically precise way of randomly reaching three-quarters of the country’s households, phone would still be the answer.

“If you tried to imagine a cost-effective, geographically precise way of randomly reaching three-quarters of the country’s households, phone would still be the answer.”

However it’s obviously not all sunshine and roses for fixed line researchers. In particular, over half of all 25-34 year olds now live in a mobile-only household. That makes reaching this group by fixed line phone an increasingly complex and expensive task. This will in turn require innovative solutions, and possible some mixed-method surveys to accommodate this age group. Hopefully one day we will have access to geographically-specific mobile numbers – though without any guarantee that an increasingly text-focussed generation will be prepared to do voice-based surveys.

Finally, you might be interested to know that an astonishing 74 per cent of Australian adults now use a smartphone. With a small decline in total mobile phone connections over the past 12 months, that suggests a LOT of older generation mobiles sitting in bottom drawers!

Just how dangerous are young drivers?

I have written in a previous newsletter (March 2104) about the astonishing fall in the NSW road toll over the past 40 years. However as highlighted by the graph below – shown to me by my L-Plate son –  there is no cause for complacency.

This issue’s graph shows, over a 4-year period, the number of drivers involved in accidents requiring an ambulance – or worse – for each month they have held their Learner or Provisional licenses.

Vehicle Accidents Statistics


So for example, almost 900 drivers in their first month of a red-P license were injured or killed over this four year period. But by their time they were almost off their green-Ps (3 years later) “only” 300 drivers were involved in casualty crashes.

Once again this shows the power of a simple and well-thought out graph – and how much information it can transfer. Certainly it had a much more profound impact on my son than any nagging I could offer up!

Quote of the month – Hugh Mackay

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Australian Market and Social Research Society, or AMSRS. In the latest edition of Research News there is an entertaining piece by Hugh Mackay on the early days of market research – let me know if you would like a copy. But I was very taken with the concluding quote from his article:

“The best researchers are not simply well qualified, not simply abreast of the theoretical issues, not simply curious and not simply clever. The breakthrough ingredient is empathy, born of a deep respect for the people letting us into their secrets.”

One for all us researchers to remember…

Research training, anyone?

In case you or someone else in your organisation is interested in fine-tuning their research skills, I will be delivering a 2-day workshop in late March for Local Government NSW called “Make Your Research Count!”

Held in Sydney, this will be a relevant, interactive and (I promise) fun way to help you conduct and commission social research.

If you’d like to learn more about this course, click here.

Jetty Research is expanding!

Christine Dening - Market ResearcherWe are delighted to announce the appointment of our first Sydney-based account manager, Christine Dening.

Christine has recently moved to Sydney from Adelaide, where she spent seven years in a senior research role with Adelaide City Council. Prior to that she has worked with respected research suppliers Synovate and Colmar Brunton.

Christine’s experience in Council research makes her a perfect fit for a growing Jetty Research.  We hope you’ll have the opportunity to meet her soon!

Until next time…

If you have any questions, comments or other feedback about the issues raised in this newsletter, please email or call me. Otherwise, thanks so much for taking the time to read this.