Leadership in Research

Toward a More Perfect Union: Strategies to Equalize the Value of Research and Data Science at Your Organization.

Pitched a research trip to senior leadership only to be denied in favor of “data-driven insights?” In the middle of a research share when a client questions the number of people in the qualitative study? Gulf between UX Research teams and data scientists at your organization seen too wide to overcome?

At this talk, Ovetta will share practical strategies and activities you can use to transform an organization that's "drunk on data," into one that realizes the value of marrying data science work with qualitative research.

Leading efforts at IDEO to marry design research and data science practices, Ovetta will offer a step-by-step guide for research leaders to close the gap between these two practices in your organization for better design.

Learn the major challenges to integrating data science work with UX Research and how to address them, including how to bring along key stakeholders, what knowledge gaps to bridge, and how to build your team’s skills so researchers can go beyond mixing methods to actually influencing how data science work is done. You’ll leave this talk with a plan to create positive change within your company. You’ll also find ways to garner support for UX Research as a pathway to address the ethical pitfalls that can befall data science work.

Ovetta Sampson.

Design Research Lead, IDEO


As a Design Lead and Design Researcher at IDEO, Ovetta works to amplify the voice of people while inspiring design.

Following her passion for people, data and design, she focuses on the intersectionality of humanity and technology including artificial intelligence, mixed reality, and IoT products and services. She works to design future technology that’s not only human-centered but prioritizes human needs.

She does this with teams at IDEO by cultivating design research's partnership with data science and machine learning to produce incredible, human-centered design.

Prior to IDEO, she was UX researcher for five years and a journalist for about 20 years both for daily newspapers and international humanitarian organizations. She’s interviewed, lived and worked with people on six continents learning about humanity in a diverse and multicultural way.

She has her M.S. in Computer Science, specializing in human-computer interaction, from DePaul University. An adjunct professor at DePaul, Ovetta teaches young designers about their impact on people, places, societies, and communities as well as how to be inclusive and equitable during the design process.