Event Notes: Don’t Start with Data

While there are complex topics that come up often, if someone asks me the same question twice, it’s a good signal I’m not doing my job well enough. The best researchers are teachers, they travel the road ahead and come back to guide the colleagues.

From Insights x Design (Designers + Geeks events), by speaker Behazod Sirjani, Sr. Researcher at Slack.

Behzod shared a 4-step research framework on how to decide on what/how to research: DECISION -> EVIDENCE -> DATA -> APPROACH

  • DECISION: Start by understanding what decision you need to make. Have a clear objective. What are you going to research for?
  • EVIDENCE: Identify the kind of evidence that is necessary to inform that decision — e.g. work with stakeholders.
  • DATA: Determine the kind of data that you need to create a compelling case
  • APPROACH: The data you plan to collect shapes the approach and methods you use to conduct work.

An example of Behzod’s process of improving Facebook’s Ads metrics (photo from the event). He divided the work into two parts based on the two decisions concluded, aka, relates to the two objectives the project wanted to achieve: what metrics to show, and how they can tell a good story. Then, he tackled them separately:

Part 1: What are the right metrics to show?

Part 2: What is the best way to visualize and communicate these metrics in a coherent story?

Some tips:

  • Start by focusing on the decision you need to make and work backwards from there (DEDA)
  • Don’t be afraid to break up your research into smaller pieces
  • Be intentional with what you ask — value your stakeholder/users’ time

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