Insight Triangulation at Netflix: Data Science + People Science

Dr. Zachary Schendel
Director of UX Research

At Netflix, data science powers everything - our AB testing infrastructure allows us to detect minute differences in user behavior across millions of global members to make evidence-based decisions about which innovations are moving the business forward, and which innovations are distractions. Personalized recommendations, the selection of ideal title art, and globally delivering a consistent and high-quality video stream are just three aspects of our business that are influenced by data science. Despite the power of data science, however, our members are not merely numbers or data files. They are real people with sometimes quirky and unpredictable behaviors, and with personalized opinions that matter. Thus, to incite innovation, we've found the most success within our Consumer Insights team by combining the big data approach for which Netflix is well known with lessons gathered through direct communication with members. In this talk, we will discuss some of the approaches we’ve used to harmonize these two approaches and show how consumer scientists can apply them.