Just Add Water: Lessons Learned from Mixing Data Science and Design Research Methods to Improve Customer Service

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Case Study—This case study provides an inside look at what occurs when methods from the data science and ethnographic fields are mixed to solve perennial customer service problems within the call center and cruise industries. The paper details this particular blend of ethnographic practitioners with a data scientist resulted in changes to design approaches, debunking myths about qualitative and quantitative research methods being at odds and altering team member perspectives about the value of both. The project also led to the creation of innovative blended design research and data science methods to discover and leverage the right customer data to the benefit of both the customer and the call center agents who serve them. This paper offers insight into the untold value design teams can unlock when data scientists and ethnographers work together to solve a problem. The result was a design solution that gives a top-performing company an edge to grow even better by leveraging the millions of data records housed in its warehouse to the benefit of its customers.

  3 comments for “Just Add Water: Lessons Learned from Mixing Data Science and Design Research Methods to Improve Customer Service

  1. September 6, 2019 at 6:35 pm

    This was so interesting to read. Great job on writing the case!

  2. November 8, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    Thanks Luca! Glad you liked it. 🙂

  3. November 13, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    Ovetta–I just started a new role and my initial focus is on the call centers. Loved this talk (which someone at this year’s conference in Providence immediately remembered when I mentioned my new job). I’m wondering if the tools you reference in your talk are still available on the IDEO website…tried to do a quick search, but mostly podcasts and blogs come up.

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