EXPERT Insight

Why All Companies Need a Data Experience Designer Premium

Rediscovering the Person Behind the Data

Margolis, Abby; Káganer, Evgeny

Date: First Quarter 2015

Tags: big data, personal data, social media, wearables, connected home

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Pundits have dubbed personal data "the new oil" of the 21st century. Yet for all the hype surrounding big data, people complain they have less meaning and are frustrated with how poorly brands leverage their information. That's because many companies still mine data with the end goal of streamlining business processes, largely neglecting an essential piece in the data economy puzzle: the person. This article summarizes the findings of a global research project into the values and behavior of data "prosumers" -- individuals who are both producers and consumers of data, and who expect their personal data to be used to deliver new and better experiences. The authors define the core elements of a new design mind-set that companies must adopt as they create new data-rich products and services. In the emerging Personal Data Economy, firms will reap value to the extent that they enable, empower and meet future needs, rather than merely analyzing past behavior. They envisage a new organizational figure -- the data experience designer -- to take the process forward.

Tools and Frameworks:
> "Data Scientist vs. Data Experience Designer" compares the distinct yet complementary mind-sets that organizations need to grasp to stay relevant to today's personal data economy.
> "Designed With People in Mind" shows the array of PDE tools coming onto the market, and how they leverage data differently to reach prosumers.

Examples Cited:
Babolat,, Gym-Pact, Nest, Path, PatientsLikeMe, Simple, Snapchat, Waze, Fukushima, Pachube, Pirate Party, Google, FitDay, RunKeeper, Amazon, Facebook, Foursquare, Instagram, Babolat Play AeroPro Drive

Research Basis:
Summarizes the findings of a global research project that involved in-depth interviews with experts in cities around the world, including Berlin, Boston, London, New York, San Francisco, Sao Paulo and Tokyo, as well as analyses of emerging Personal Data Economy (PDE) initiatives.

About the Authors:
Abby Margolis is Director of Research at Claro Partners, Barcelona.

Evgeny Káganer is an associate professor in the Department of Information Systems at IESE.


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