While there have been attempts to “modernize” personas by automating their creation and tying the concept to behavioral online analytics data, the question remains: can data-driven personas offer efficiency and/or effectiveness value relative to other analytics approaches and data representations for user understanding tasks?
This question remains largely unaddressed in the previous research, even for personas in general, and it serves as the motivation for the research we are doing with APG, a data-driven persona system.
Overall, there is surprisingly little research in the field of marketing, HCI, or information science about data granularity in user segmentation. Yet, this is an issue that is practically important and theoretically interesting.
Customer segmentation and granularity research has noted aggregation beneficial for marketing practice. The optimal segmentation of user groups has also been pursued without a definitive solution.
While not discounting traditionally generated personas, our position is that data-driven persona has certain inherent advantages, as shown in Table 1.
For more on this topic see: Jansen, B. J., Salminen, J. O., & Jung, S. (2020). Data-Driven Personas for Enhanced User Understanding: Combining Empathy with Rationality for Better Insights to Analytics, Data and Information Management, 4(1), 1-17. doi: https://doi.org/10.2478/dim-2020-0005