Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Communicating Data To Designers


Patrick Glinski, Idea Couture's head of service design, and Christopher Berry (yours truly), Authintic's chief scientist, are presenting "Communicating data to designers: the soft side of hard data", at the eMetrics conference in Toronto tomorrow.

This post isn't just a plug. There's value here.

Design at a marketing analytics conference

It's unusual to present ideas about design at an analytics conference. But it's during the design phase that hundreds of micro-decisions are made. Analytics is all about making better decisions. Designers aren't analysts. There's a gap there.

There's a lot to be gained by empathizing with designers. If analysts, and analytics managers, understand how designers work, they stand a much better chance of causing better outcomes. But it isn't enough to simply tell designers how to be better.

Designers fundamentally want to learn how to make design better. Acknowledging and working on communication style can make the difference between a relationship dominated by bitterness and alienation, and better outcomes.

Is it too soon to call ArtScience over?

You may recall, in 2009, a lot of discussion about the fusion of art and science in agency planning circles. Two of the principle writers at the time were James Shuttleworth and Michael Fassnacht. The spirit of the idea was to redefine strategy by harmonizing design methods and scientific methods.

There were attempts in 2010 around the idea. When the org charts came out and process flows were explained, both designers and analysts recoiled. It's rare that re-arranging boxes in an org chart ever fundamentally change the culture of a company, little though force empathy. Many people came out of 2010 a fair bit frustrated with the process.

In spite of the difficulties, the spirit of ArtScience approaches have taken root in a few places.

Patrick is a leader in service design. He approaches problems using both design thinking and analytical b-school thinking. It takes both systems thinking and design thinking to design new systems. And it works for him.

I'm good at data science product development. I approach problems using analytical b-school thinking and design thinking. It takes both to design effective products. And it works for me.

ArtScience might be poised for another set of attempts. In other fields of marketing, that future is already here. It's just distributed normally.

Call to action

If you're in Toronto and want to know more about marketing analytics, you should attend eMetrics. If you're at eMetrics, you should see their presentation.

1 comment:

Kelly Craft said...

Hi Chris,

Greatly enjoyed this session while at eMetrics TO. Is the presentation deck posted anywhere?

Thanks kindly.