The Introduction of Ethnography of SEEDATA

SEEDATA uses its original Research Design/Analysis Frame for ethnography, and the ethnography of SEEDATA is composed of behavior observation and interviews. Ethnography helps us find potential consumers’ jobs to be done, which is the base for us to advise clients to make new idea in product and business development. We will introduce flows and features of ethnography of SEEDATA.


SEEDATA has its original way of ethnography. If you want to use the ethnography for business, please send a message with a title “About Ethnography”, and let us know what your company name and name of the person in charge of this matter.


↓↓You can download free white paper about ethnography of SEEDATA (Japanese Only, there is no English version. If you want one in English, please feel free to contact us.) ↓↓

You can understand ethnography from basic to advanced (13 pages, 97.2KB)

Flow of ethnography of SEEDATA

0.Creation of FUTURE WAVE

SEEDATA collects information about people who take advanced actions. FUTURE WAVE is a document about the information. We make a report about research on advanced consumers, advanced technologies, and new trends.

1.Discussion to Find Business Opportunity

We discuss what sort of behaviors we should focus on with clients, while using FUTURE WAVE, clarifying the specific figures of respondents to a survey.

In ethnography of SEEDATA, we focus not on normal consumers, but on TRIBE who has advanced values and philosophy in order to find their characteristic behaviors/values. This helps us presume values which would spread in a few years, when conducting ethnography.

2.Behavior Observation

In behavior observation, we record field notes, and take a video with special video camera. Researchers visit the site where the behavior happens, and carefully describe it while considering the context, keeping a record. At the time, the researcher tries not to ask questions to the target person, and has them consciously behave as usual. By observing their usual behavior, we can find their unconscious behavior and interesting contexts.


From the observation results, we construct a hypothesis for the post-observation hearing, and create an interview flow. This is how we interpret the context of behaviors, and clarify the reason they behaved as they did. There is an original method of SEEDATA for downfoading.

4.Post-observation Interview

At SEEDATA, we interview the target person again after behavior observation. This allows us to verify our hypothesis led by behavior observation. Moreover, we clarify and deepen the purpose and intention of the behavior. This makes it possible for us to treat the findings as evidence-based data, not the researcher’s idea. 

5.Analysis on JOB to Be Done

We conduct a JOB analysis so as to clarify what sort of JOBs (JOB : a task to be done) can be found in their behavior through interviews and field notes from ethnography. JOB will be described later again.

6.Discovery of Business Opportunities

We discover business opportunities, by referring to the JOB list from JOB analysis. Ideas of these opportunities are used for the purpose of devising the idea for new products and business.

In ethnography of SEEDATA, we deliver a report about these.


SEEDATA has its original way of ethnography. If you want to use the ethnography for business, please send a message with a title “About Ethnography”, and let us know what your company name and name of the person in charge of this matter.


■Feature of Ethnography of SEEDATA

1.Utilization of JOB Theory

The JOB Theory used in ethnography of SEEDATA is the marketing theory devised by Clayton M Christensen who is known for his book “The Innovator’s Dilemma”.

JOB is, in short, a task to be done for people, and they employ products and services to clear up the JOB.

These terms “JOB” and “employ” are a kind of metaphors, and we find causation of the reason people use the product and service, while clarifying the context that “when”, ”where”, ”who”, and “how” people employ the product and services in their daily lives.

*SEEDATA uses its original JOB analysis, as Christensen’s JOB theory is not suitable for practical use.

2.Difference between JOB and INSIGHT

Insight is the term often used in ethnography. SEEDATA clearly differentiates JOB and insight; we interpret insight as “what moves people’s emotions”. Insight means the core desire for purchase and sub consciousness.

Instead, JOB is considered “what motivates people’s behaviors”. It is also regarded as a task to be done, and we think JOB can be found by observing people’s behaviors.

Insight is more likely to be used in order to make advertisements and concept for products, as it is the core of people’s emotions. Instead, JOB is more likely to be used for the purpose of devising specification of products and developing goods.

In the example of foreign tourists to Japan, they have an insight that they want to feel national character of Japanese in the interaction with local people, more than visiting tourist destinations. On the other hand, JOB is that they want to keep tracking their locations in Tokyo where you find it difficult to do it.

■JOB Appears as an Alternative Behavior

As stated above, it is true that people have JOB in their daily lives, and solve it by using some sort of products/services. However, they do not sometimes find suitable product/service for the JOB, and in this case, they employ alternative ones, managing to solve the JOB.

For instance, when we conducted ethnography at a hospital, it was found that there is a problem that patients need to carry many documents with them. What is necessary to be solved derived from the problem was there was a lack of desks and spaces in order for them to file their documents.

In the ethnography, we saw patients going to unused reception counter and trash can with a flat lid for the sake of finding a space for filing.

In this case, the JOB to be done is that patients need the condition where numbers of documents are filed so as for them to easily find one at the suitable timing. However, they used different places for filling, because of the lack of suitable desks and spaces.

In this way, the feature of JOB is that it appears as an alternative behavior for a solution, and thus, finding an alternative behavior directly leads to proposal for new products/business

■The Focus Point on Behavior Observation in Ethnography of SEEDATA

SEEDATA assumes that jobs have three aspects, functional, social and emotional. We comprehensively observe them, and in later job analysis, we integrate them to clarify the outline of the JOB.

1.Functional Aspect

In behavior observation, we find out what tasks people have done, and what they employed at the time, and what kind of functional values of the product/service they expect in employing the product.

2. Social Aspect

We understand the reason the product was employed from a big perspective, by incorporating the following two aspects in the behavior observation. One of them is the viewpoints such as the situation where the target person is socially in, and the other is the context where the product/service was employed.

3. Emotional Aspect

We find out psychological factors of customers on their choices of product/service, and what kind of feelings they wanted to gain through the product/service in behavior observation and interview.

We clarify JOB to be done from these three aspects in behavior observation, and create a JOB list.

Please contact us, when you want an example of a specific JOB list

■Outputs of Ethnography of SEEDATA


・The Profile of the Target Found in Discussion to Find Value

・Field Notes Written in Behavior Observation

・Summary of the Interview after Behavior Observation

・JOB list discovered through Field Notes and Interview

・Business Opportunities Derived from JOB list

■Fields where Ehnography of SEEDATA is Effective

・Proposal of new product/service, in reference to functional value derived from business opportunity

Through behavior observation, understanding of contexts of people’s behavior which cannot be found in interview

・Research on behaviors of advanced people through FUTURE WAVE

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