Research Teams

Part
01
of three
Part
01

Research Teams: Uber, Lyft, AirBnB, Slack

The tools used by the research team at Uber, Lyft, AirBnB, and Slack include software platforms such as data science workbench (DSW), and KnowledgeHound, and programming tools such as SQL, PHP and Python.

We researched the relevant information by utilizing the company websites, press releases and articles published by trusted media websites such as Techcrunch, fastcompany, and CMSwire. We also utilized the job listings for researchers posted by each company to extract the information regarding the tools used by the research team and the functions and responsibilities of the research team. Lastly, we utilized LinkedIn to extract the information regarding the number of employees working in the research team of each of the company.

1. Uber

TOOLS USED:

The research team at Uber uses data science workbench (DSW), a centralized interactive analytic and machine learning platform that can be used to leverage aggregated data and perform tasks such as data exploration, ad-hoc analyses, workflow scheduling, and dashboarding. DSW is in the form of a web-based portal with a graphical user interface. Besides this, Uber also uses data visualization tools for tasks such as exploration, inspection, debugging and exposition of data, and VTOS for identifying competitors and private industry opposition.

FUNCTION AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

The main responsibility of the research team at Uber is to conduct research on machine learning and deep-learning models and algorithms. The team also works on optimizing Uber's training protocols, test-time performance, memory footprint, and power consumption. Besides this, the team also designs various tools for automated model tuning, hyperparameter optimization, and experiment analysis.

SIZE OF RESEARCH TEAM:

2. LYFT

TOOLS USED:

The research team at Lyft uses KnowledgeHound, a search-driven analytic platform that can be used to analyze data, and provide insights to the marketing and sales partners of Lyft. Besides this, the research team also uses Salesforce Pardot and Sales Cloud for identifying customers, and Jira for managing internal projects.

FUNCTION AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

The main responsibility of the research team at Lyft is to design and conduct studies regarding various Lyft products. The researchers utilize techniques and methods such as ethnographic and field research, diary studies, and usability testing. The research team is also working on building a self-driving system. Besides this, the team reviews, analyzes, and communicates tactical data and strategic insights.

SIZE OF RESEARCH TEAM:

3. SLACK

TOOLS USED:

The research team at Slack mainly uses tools such as SQL, PHP, Python, Ruby, Go, and Java to conduct general research.

FUNCTION AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

The main responsibility of the research team at Slack is to develop new survey programs such as one-off surveys, and tracking surveys, and maintain the existing tracking survey programs. The team also collaborates with the data engineering team to distribute data insights to the entire company for decision-making and product investments.

SIZE OF RESEARCH TEAM:

4. AIRBNB

TOOLS USED:

The research team at AirBnB uses tools such as SQL and ETL for general research purposes. The team also uses editor plugins to correct syntactical errors in their program code.

FUNCTION AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

The main responsibility of the research team at AirBnB is to conduct research about the product cycle using both formative and evaluative methods. The team uses various research techniques and methods such as log analysis, usability studies, and ethnographic observation. The research team also needs to create actionable research insights that can be distributed to the company designers, engineers and product managers.

SIZE OF RESEARCH TEAM:

Part
02
of three
Part
02

Research Teams: Google Facebook, Stripe

Google and Facebook have research teams which utilize various tools to attract new users. Through a team of 1962 members, Google leverages on user experience research platform to attract new users. The Facebook research team comprises 547 members who have the responsibility of continually developing innovations that better the experience of new and existing users. With a relatively new research team, Stripe's 4-member research team is yet to publicize their research tools used to attract new customers.

Methodology

To find information about research teams at Google, Facebook, and Stripe and the tools they use to attract new users, we began by conducting a general search from individual companies’ websites and press releases. We were able to locate information on the size of research teams at Google and Facebook as well as on the tools used to attract new users. We also found the functions and responsibilities of the research teams in respective company websites and assumed the same for attracting new users based on the information quoted on websites.
For Stripe, we did not find any information on the website on the size and tools used in research to attract new users. As such, we opted to find such information from the company’s job postings. From one such job posting by Stripe, we established the functions and responsibilities of the research teams. Additionally, we were able to determine that Stripe’s research team was launched recently. As we could not identify the size of Stripe’s research team from its website and job postings, we searched through LinkedIn utilizing LinkedIn advanced search options. We found four executive profiles of research team members at Stripe.
To find information on the tools used by Stripe’s research team, we opted to explore the company’s segmentation by domain, but the same was not published in the company’s websites or press pages. From the site, we only found information on product offerings to customers and not tools used by the research team.
As an alternative strategy, we further sought to look through Stripe’s SEC filings, annual reports, and financial reports for any information on tool launches which are used by research teams of Stripe to attract new users. We did not find any information on the topic except on the revenue and product of Stripe. We concluded that such information was not available since the research team was newly launched as already determined.
As a last resort, we conducted an exhaustive search in third-party sites like Techcrunch, GitHub, Woocommerce, Simtechdev, Twilio, and Moodle for any mentions on tools used by research teams of Stripe but could not locate anything specific to tools used by research teams of Stripe as most of the information is on its payment models and comparison with competitors.

1. GOOGLE

TOOLS USED:

As a strategy to attract new users, Google research team attracts new users by offering a user experience research platform where users can sign up, give feedback, and get rewarded. The team utilizes Google Cloud for computing the capabilities of machine learning which provides solutions to the most technical, interdisciplinary challenges and these capabilities attract new users with the latest machine learning technologies. The Google research team also uses Google linguists to attract new users by providing valuable labeled data, multilingual modeling, and sentiment analysis, among others.

OVERVIEW OF FUNCTION AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

The research team at Google are tasked with the responsibility of providing solutions for fundamental computational problems, market optimization, and their impact on Google products. They also need to deliver advanced machine intelligence through research by collaborating with multiple teams across Alphabet. Additionally, they design the world's fastest and largest data center and WAN networks to enable computation and storage for its end users.

SIZE OF THE RESEARCH TEAM:

In terms of size, Google’s research team comprises about 1962 employees.

2. FACEBOOK

TOOLS USED:

The research team at Facebook attracts new users by using “Natural language processing and speech” that focuses on 6,000 languages in the world. The strategy allows for better interaction between billions of users on Facebook. Some of their focus areas include text normalization, language identification, and word sense disambiguation among others. The Facebook research team also attracts new users by using Human Computer Interaction (HCI) tools which enables the understanding of how users interact and engage with technology. The Facebook research team also uses Machine Learning and develop machine learning algorithms which focus on rank feeds, search results, and ads to improve the experience of new users.

OVERVIEW OF FUNCTION AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

The research team at Facebook have the responsibility of developing constant innovations focusing on real-world problems by using computer vision and machine intelligence. The team also focuses on finding solutions to address challenges in various research areas such as data science, Facebook AI research, computational photography and human-computer interaction. They also focus on advanced AR and VR technologies and improvise the safety and security of the Facebook community

SIZE OF THE RESEARCH TEAM:

There are about 587 employees on Facebook's research team.

3. STRIPE

TOOLS USED:

Stripe does not mention outline tools they use to attract new customers on their website. Even so, they rely on strategies like market research, competitive insights, product research, survey science, design thinking, and market insights to attract new customers.

OVERVIEW OF FUNCTION AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

Researchers at Stripe have the responsibility of working to improve brand sentiment, brand awareness, and customer and product satisfaction. They also collaborate with the marketing team, product teams, and data science teams to build ongoing survey research. Through research, they determine best practices, scalable consulting processes, and required training necessary for improving the performance of the company. They also oversee and analyze world-class surveys.

SIZE OF THE RESEARCH TEAM:

Led by the Head of Research, Stripe’s research team has about 4 members.
Part
03
of three
Part
03

Companies With No Research Teams: Overview

Companies without established research teams carry out their research in several ways. One can use either primary research or secondary research methods. Examples of these research strategies include the use of adjacent blogs, social media, and third-party market research. Information from the various posts' engagements are some of the indirect ways companies are surviving without an established research team. These details are analyzed and used to determine marketing strategy. The details of our research are as follows.

Methodology

As we began our research, we attempted to find examples of companies with success in researching without research teams. However, there is scarce information about companies without research teams specifically. Instead, there is a lot more research into small businesses that successfully combine marketing and research. As we searched through online publications on sites such as Active Campaign, Inc online publication, and Market Weekly, we determined that many small businesses use social media or adjacent blogs as part of their research strategies. As we examined this trend further, we came across examples of companies that divide the research workload.

Other online sources such as Chron and Biz Filings showed that companies can use online databases and third-party consultants to perform research. However, we could not obtain the specific strategy leading to their wide success. We narrowed our search into third-party consultant options on a global scale. Our findings are as follows.

OVERVIEW

The method of research that can be used by companies without an established research team is divided into two: primary and secondary research.

  • Primary Research
This research is carried out for the company either by its employees or by a third party. The first type of primary research is passive primary research. This is usually an established method that does not need altering such as an online survey after making a purchase.

Low-budget primary research has its disadvantages: a low sample size, samples are not necessarily random, and a low budget for the data analysis stage.

Non-experimental research is dynamic because it can either be qualitative or quantitative and involves active products or services. This means it can either be the increase or decrease in sales, or the customer opinion on changes made.

An outsourced primary research method is when a third party executes the research. This method is rarely cost-effective compared to the rest.

  • Secondary Research

External secondary research involves analyzing the content of research carried out in a similar company or industry and determining parallels. As the data collected is not from the company itself, this research may not directly address the company's needs.

Internal secondary research involves using data that was collected on a different date for a different purpose. An example would be, using the demographic section of the sales data.

EXAMPLE 1: ADJACENT BLOGS, INTERNAL SECONDARY RESEARCH

Birchbox, Good Greens, Mint, Nooma, AirBnb, and Kissmetrics are all businesses that use adjacent blogs to reach new customers and gain success. Blog content serves as internal secondary research as it helps gain insights into interest and can gauge traffic for a particular topic. Blog content can also encourage reader feedback and comments or questions, which can gain valuable insights into a potential customer. Blogs are thought to be an effective method because of the following factors. First, blogs boost traffic to the company website by 55% and there are 409 million people blog readers every month.

The responsibility of writing the blog can be tasked to any employee or team or they can also be outsourced to guest contributors. In some instances, the CEO is tasked with the responsibility of proof-reading the content and analyzing the customer comments. If the company is large and has bulky content, the CEO may delegate. The information gathered can therefore be implemented into the marketing strategy for the company.

EXAMPLE 2: SOCIAL MEDIA, INTERNAL PRIMARY AND EXTERNAL SECONDARY RESEARCH

The advantage of using this method is that social media offers free. Social media numbers and statistics are critical to one's growth, and need to be well understood. Research analysis of this data needs to be conducted to determine the most effective marketing strategies to implement. One can study the habits of other companies in the same industry to determine what would be effective. Companies such as Dollar Shave Club, Uber, and Kid Runner are all examples of giant enterprise-level companies that use social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to new customers and grow. Social media is effective in businesses with interested parties and similar organizations. It also presents an opportunity for communication with clients and prospective ones. For Dollar Shave Club, as the use of social media emerged, the managed the social media accounts and collecting research. This is not an uncommon practise as it gives a

The advantage of using this method is that social media offers free analytics. Social media numbers and statistics are critical to one's growth. It is critical to conduct research of all these various statistics and ensure that they are being sufficiently understood. One can study the habits of other companies in the same industry to determine what would be effective. Companies such as Dollar Shave Club, Uber, and Kid Runner are all examples of giant enterprise-level companies that use social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to reach new customers and grow.

Social media is effective in connecting businesses with interested parties and similar organizations. It also presents an opportunity for communication with clients and prospective ones. For Dollar Shave Club, as the use of social media emerged, the owners managed the social media accounts and collecting research. This is not an uncommon practice as it gives a company a more personal touch. However, when it became a part of its marketing strategy, they allocated a budget and delegated. At times, social media is outsourced.

EXAMPLE 3: THIRD-PARTY RESEARCH, EXTERNAL PRIMARY AND SECONDARY RESEARCH

With third-party research is outsourced and can include research compiled specifically for the company requesting the research, or pre-compiled research about the industry and competitors. In 2016, the US research market generated $11.6 billion. Some of the best global firms for third-party research are Nielson, Quintiles IMS, Kantar, IRI, and Ipsos and the top services they offer are audience measurement, custom research, syndicated research, and adviser and consulting services.

An example of one company is Kantar. They offer expert solutions, consumer polls specific to a company's needs, and access to pre-compiled research to their 8,000 clients and have generated insight into 80 million people worldwide.

Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "The ATG (Advanced Technologies Group) at Uber is shaping the future of driverless transportation. Earlier this year, the Data Visualization Team—which uses visualization for exploration, inspection, debugging and exposition of data—partnered with the ATG to improve how its self-driving vehicles (cars and trucks) interpret and perceive the world around them."
Quotes
  • "Our world-class team at Uber AI Labs pursues fundamental research in machine learning and connects cutting-edge advances to the broader business. Machine learning is essential to our business, and we are therefore fully committed to the pursuit of fundamental advances and vigorous engagement with the broader machine learning community."
Quotes
  • "KnowledgeHound was the practical solution Lyft was looking for; the first-ever “Search Driven Analytics” software platform. Kristi Zuhlke, CEO and Founder of KnowledgeHound, described how the software was developed to help researchers make the most of their data. Typically, research suppliers’ main deliverable for clients is a presentation deck with summarized key insights based on your most important research questions."
Quotes
  • "Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), the global leader in CRM, today announced that Lyft, the fastest growing rideshare company in the U.S., is using Salesforce Pardot and Sales Cloud to identify the best prospects, convert more leads and drive customer loyalty."
From Part 02
Quotes
  • "For our first Market Researcher, we’re looking for a seasoned lead to establish and grow the discipline, joining a small but growing team that blends market research, competitive insights, and product research. "
  • "You will be responsible for defining Stripe’s approach to insights while partnering with Product and Marketing to ensure your strategy aligns with company leadership. "
  • "you will also influence and collaborate with a diverse group of researchers representing different disciplines, skills, backgrounds, and specialties. This role will report directly to our Head of Research and dotted-line to our Head of Product Marketing."
Quotes
  • "For our first Quantitative UX Researcher, we’re looking for a seasoned research leader to establish and grow Survey Science as a discipline, joining a small but growing team that blends survey science, design thinking, and market insights. "
Quotes
  • "Click the link below to sign up, and we’ll send you a questionnaire that will help our research team match you to particular studies."
  • "If we invite you to take part in a study, we’ll give you all the details about time, location, and method. Studies can take place in a Google office, our research van, or your home or business — or even online via your computer, smartphone, or tablet."
  • "Once your participation is complete, you’ll get a small thank-you gift like a gift card or a donation to your favorite charity. "
Quotes
  • "We design and build the world’s largest, fastest, most reliable data-center and WAN networks, to enable compute and storage not available anywhere else."
  • "A team of engineers, researchers, advocates, and hackers who make the Internet safer for all users."
Quotes
  • "Our natural language processing and speech researchers focus on the interaction between people and computers using human languages, both in diverse written and spoken forms, to remove the barrier of language from the ability to communicate. "
Quotes
  • "Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and User Experience (UX) researchers at Facebook seek to deeply understand and improve the experiences of the over 2 billion people around the world who use Facebook every month."
Quotes
  • "Our machine learning and applied machine learning researchers and engineers develop machine learning algorithms that rank feeds, ads and search results, and create new text understanding algorithms that keep spam and misleading content at bay."
Quotes
  • "Our research thrusts are human-centric, and our goal is to accelerate basic science AI research and strengthen what we can do for enterprise and industry customers through AI and Google Cloud. "
  • " The Cloud AI team serves as the bridge between the enterprise world and AI innovations"
Quotes
  • "Google linguists, who provide valuable labelled data and assist in enabling internationalization."