Automatic Persona Generation for Online Content Creators: Conceptual Rationale and a Research Agenda

In this perspective manuscript, my co-authors and I propose an approach of employing personas as an alternative form of making large volumes of online user analytics information useful to end users of the user and customer analytics, with results applicable in software development, business sectors, communication industry, and other domains where understanding online user behavior is deemed important.

Toward this end, we have developed a system that automatically generates data-driven personas from social media and online analytics data, capable of handling hundreds of millions of user interactions from tens of thousands of pieces of content on YouTube, Facebook and Google Analytics, while retaining the privacy of individual users of those channels.

Our approach (1) identifies and prioritizes user segments by their online behavior, (2) associates the segments with demographic data, and (3) creates rich persona profiles by dynamically adding characteristics, such as names, photos, and descriptive quotes. Read more about benefits of data-driven personas.


Salminen, J., Jansen, B. J., An, J., Kwak, H. and Jung, S. G. (2018) Data-driven Personas in the Age of Online Analytics and Social Media. Personas: User Focused Design. 1, 1, Article 1, 135-160.

2 thoughts on “Automatic Persona Generation for Online Content Creators: Conceptual Rationale and a Research Agenda”

  1. Pingback: Personas and Analytics: A Comparative User Study of Efficiency and Effectiveness for a User Identification Task – The Persona Blog

  2. Pingback: A Literature Review of Quantitative Persona Creation – The Persona Blog

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