data science &
the design process
fickleness and how we solve it
Bo Peng
design is a process.
LINEAR!
the design process - an overview
our design process - an overview
our design process - an overview
our design process - an overview
iterate, iterate, iterate
and now, the example.
informal beginnings
the client
•  fortune 50 international company
•  major restructuring of 20,000+ personnel
initial brainstorm
initial brainstorm
the data

•  every person has attributes: function,
location, division, etc
the data

•  everyone is encouraged to write about their
• 
• 

work
when people write, they are encouraged to
write toget...
example data
On Chemical X and 
its Y-related effects on diaper absorption

Author: Charlie Brown
Date: 31 Jan 2012

Lorem Ipsum is a d...
On Chemical X and 
its Y-related effects on diaper absorption

Author: Charlie Brown
Date: 31 Jan 2012

Lorem Ipsum is a d...
project goals - v. 1
reveal areas of expertise
project goals - v. 1
evaluate connectivity of subject matter experts
project goals - v. 1
management directed subject matter connections
the i
dea
spac
e
the i
dea
spac
e

three project goals
the i
dea
spac
e

t goal #3
projec
consider the end user
original use case: to help Kathie connect people
brainstorm
t goal #3
projec
s
ging idea
diver

t goal #3
projec
then, prototype
research & testing
vs.
Subject matter experts
¤  Extrusion
  Nanotubes
  Machining
  Web handling
  Manufacturing
vs.
connected by
ý

survey

ý

co-authors

☐	
 	
 co-expertise
expertise
machining

manufacturing

web handling

extrusion

nanotubes

percentile
vs.
vs.
2011

extrusion
nanotubes
machining
web handing
manufacturing

2012
vs.
rging
dive

ideas
erging
conv
The design process involves frequent
iterations throughout.
Cambridge, MA, USA
Cambridge, MA, USA
Where’s Waldo?
[pic of static expert finder and stained glass]
rging
dive

erging
conv

iteration
done
The design process allows for
the development and changes
to client requests
back to our design process
reveal areas of expertise.
evaluate connectivity within experts.
reveal areas of expertise.
evaluate connectivity within experts.
diverging
diverging
observing areas of expertise
from a macroscopic level.
converging
iteration
let’s compare countries.
+ 1!
10

5

8

25

2

5

12

3

30

10

1

20

5

25

20

50
Dashboard #2: Stained Glass
iteration
iteration
back to our design process
Film
Film
iteration

iteration

iteration
Bing Crosby
billy
iterate
the idea space

converge
diver

diver

ge

ge

iterate
e
nverg
co
Data Science and Design: Fickleness and How We Solve It
Data Science and Design: Fickleness and How We Solve It
Data Science and Design: Fickleness and How We Solve It
Data Science and Design: Fickleness and How We Solve It
Data Science and Design: Fickleness and How We Solve It
Data Science and Design: Fickleness and How We Solve It
Data Science and Design: Fickleness and How We Solve It
Data Science and Design: Fickleness and How We Solve It
Data Science and Design: Fickleness and How We Solve It
Data Science and Design: Fickleness and How We Solve It
Data Science and Design: Fickleness and How We Solve It
Data Science and Design: Fickleness and How We Solve It
Data Science and Design: Fickleness and How We Solve It
Data Science and Design: Fickleness and How We Solve It
Data Science and Design: Fickleness and How We Solve It
Data Science and Design: Fickleness and How We Solve It
Data Science and Design: Fickleness and How We Solve It
Data Science and Design: Fickleness and How We Solve It
Data Science and Design: Fickleness and How We Solve It
Data Science and Design: Fickleness and How We Solve It
Data Science and Design: Fickleness and How We Solve It
Data Science and Design: Fickleness and How We Solve It
Data Science and Design: Fickleness and How We Solve It
Data Science and Design: Fickleness and How We Solve It
Data Science and Design: Fickleness and How We Solve It
Data Science and Design: Fickleness and How We Solve It
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Data Science and Design: Fickleness and How We Solve It

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This is a talk I gave on Jan 31, 2014 as part of Harvard's Institute for Applied Computational Science (IACS) seminar series.

Abstract: When solving problems, data scientists often encounter added layers of complexity when the problems to be solved are not well defined, and their solutions unclear. In these cases, standard, more straightforward approaches fall short, as they are not amenable to vague problems, and are thus not guaranteed to reliably produce useful results. At Datascope Analytics, we adopt methodologies from the design community and use a "continuous feedback loop" to iteratively improve dashboards, algorithms, and data sources to ensure that the resulting tool will be useful and well received. During this talk, I will illustrate our approach by sharing a detailed example from one of our projects.

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Data Science and Design: Fickleness and How We Solve It

  1. 1. data science & the design process fickleness and how we solve it Bo Peng
  2. 2. design is a process.
  3. 3. LINEAR!
  4. 4. the design process - an overview
  5. 5. our design process - an overview
  6. 6. our design process - an overview
  7. 7. our design process - an overview
  8. 8. iterate, iterate, iterate
  9. 9. and now, the example.
  10. 10. informal beginnings
  11. 11. the client •  fortune 50 international company •  major restructuring of 20,000+ personnel
  12. 12. initial brainstorm
  13. 13. initial brainstorm
  14. 14. the data •  every person has attributes: function, location, division, etc
  15. 15. the data •  everyone is encouraged to write about their •  •  work when people write, they are encouraged to write together most people took a survey
  16. 16. example data
  17. 17. On Chemical X and its Y-related effects on diaper absorption Author: Charlie Brown Date: 31 Jan 2012 Lorem Ipsum is a dummy text used when typesetting or marking up documents. It has a long history starting from the 1500s and is still used in digital millennium for typesetting electronic documents, page designs, etc. In itself, the original text of Lorem Ipsum might have been taken from an ancient Latin book that was written about 50 BC. Nevertheless, Lorem Ipsum's words have been changed so they don't read as a proper text.  Naturally, page designs that are made for text documents must contain some text rather than placeholder dots or something else. However, should they contain a proper English words and sentences almost every reader will deliberately try to interpret it eventually missing the design itself.  However, a placeholder text must have a natural distribution of letters and punctuation or otherwise the markup will look strange and unnatural. That's what Lorem Ipsum helps to achieve. Peppermint Patty for her I would like to thank support on studying Chemical X, as well the infinite wisdom of Linus van Pelt and his willingness to use his blanket in my experiments.
  18. 18. On Chemical X and its Y-related effects on diaper absorption Author: Charlie Brown Date: 31 Jan 2012 Lorem Ipsum is a dummy text used when typesetting or marking up documents. It has a long history starting from the 1500s and is still used in digital millennium for typesetting electronic documents, page designs, etc. In itself, the original text of Lorem Ipsum might have been taken from an ancient Latin book that was written about 50 BC. Nevertheless, Lorem Ipsum's words have been changed so they don't read as a proper text.  Naturally, page designs that are made for text documents must contain some text rather than placeholder dots or something else. However, should they contain a proper English words and sentences almost every reader will deliberately try to interpret it eventually missing the design itself.  However, a placeholder text must have a natural distribution of letters and punctuation or otherwise the markup will look strange and unnatural. That's what Lorem Ipsum helps to achieve. Peppermint Patty for her I would like to thank support on studying Chemical X, as well the infinite wisdom of Linus van Pelt and his willingness to use his blanket in my experiments.
  19. 19. project goals - v. 1 reveal areas of expertise
  20. 20. project goals - v. 1 evaluate connectivity of subject matter experts
  21. 21. project goals - v. 1 management directed subject matter connections
  22. 22. the i dea spac e
  23. 23. the i dea spac e three project goals
  24. 24. the i dea spac e t goal #3 projec
  25. 25. consider the end user original use case: to help Kathie connect people
  26. 26. brainstorm
  27. 27. t goal #3 projec
  28. 28. s ging idea diver t goal #3 projec
  29. 29. then, prototype
  30. 30. research & testing
  31. 31. vs.
  32. 32. Subject matter experts ¤  Extrusion   Nanotubes   Machining   Web handling   Manufacturing
  33. 33. vs.
  34. 34. connected by ý survey ý co-authors ☐ co-expertise
  35. 35. expertise machining manufacturing web handling extrusion nanotubes percentile
  36. 36. vs.
  37. 37. vs.
  38. 38. 2011 extrusion nanotubes machining web handing manufacturing 2012
  39. 39. vs.
  40. 40. rging dive ideas erging conv
  41. 41. The design process involves frequent iterations throughout.
  42. 42. Cambridge, MA, USA
  43. 43. Cambridge, MA, USA
  44. 44. Where’s Waldo? [pic of static expert finder and stained glass]
  45. 45. rging dive erging conv iteration done
  46. 46. The design process allows for the development and changes to client requests
  47. 47. back to our design process
  48. 48. reveal areas of expertise. evaluate connectivity within experts.
  49. 49. reveal areas of expertise. evaluate connectivity within experts. diverging diverging
  50. 50. observing areas of expertise from a macroscopic level. converging
  51. 51. iteration
  52. 52. let’s compare countries.
  53. 53. + 1!
  54. 54. 10 5 8 25 2 5 12 3 30 10 1 20 5 25 20 50
  55. 55. Dashboard #2: Stained Glass
  56. 56. iteration iteration
  57. 57. back to our design process
  58. 58. Film Film
  59. 59. iteration iteration iteration
  60. 60. Bing Crosby
  61. 61. billy
  62. 62. iterate the idea space converge diver diver ge ge iterate e nverg co

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