Day two of the Melcrum Summit proved to be another day filled with rich content and inspiring case studies.

Key topics included – big data and data visualisation, the future of employee research and the agency / client relationship.

Michael Silverman from Silverman Research created some controversy among communicators at the Summit when he pointed out that employee surveys serve no real value. Employee research should focus on collective intelligence and the move is towards data that is meaningful and data-driven storytelling. A favourite quote from this session, when talking about text analysis: “word clouds are rubbish!”. How do you think employee research will change over the next 15 years? Be part of the conversation.

Avery Dennison (best known for their labels) shared how they connect their employees to each other. Have a look at this article featuring ‘The Beat’ an initiative they launched to put communication in the hands of their employees.

Back to data with Flying Binary and their founder, web scientist, Jacqui Taylor. Wow – a lot of information to absorb. In a nutshell: Gen Y communicates collaboratively and socially, Gen Z communicates visually. We’re on the brink of Web 3.0 and social data is the new petroleum. As communicators we need to embrace big data and start telling the data story visually. A very exciting topic which for icandi CQ demonstrates Creative Intelligence at work…Intelligence – big data analysis and interpretation. Creative – the way we translate this story visually to communicate most effectively within the future workplace.

Later on in the day, Adam Frost a data visualisation expert from The Guardian, re-emphasized the importance of visual communication and data. He reminded us that credible data that is shaped into a powerful story, makes all the difference between a good and a bad infographic. Another important factor is to remember that great data visualisation is the collaboration between different skill sets – it doesn’t take a great designer, but rather a team of analysts, storytellers and artists.

Also on the creative side, The Edge Picture Company spoke about the client / agency relationship. From discussing good briefs to the six steps to a “happy marriage”, the number one take out from the discussion: the importance of trust…if you trust your agency and allow them the freedom to be creative, you will get the most inspiring and creative work.

More to come…We’ll be sharing our key learnings and insights from the Summit as well as other conferences attended this year, over the coming weeks. In the meantime, here’s a visual summary of the Summit.