What is ResearchOps? with Kate Towsey

Zack Naylor
3 min readNov 29, 2018


Kate Towsey discussing ResearchOps on the Aurelius podcast

The Aurelius podcast is a show that brings you insights, thoughts and tactics from leading UX designers, product leaders and user researchers from across multiple industries and companies. Hosted by Zack Naylor, the show is brought to you by Aurelius — the best user research and insights tool for design and product teams. You can subscribe on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher.

This episode we have the spark that started the global movement of ResearchOps, Kate Towsey.

Kate started this global, open-source community to define, discuss and answer the question “What is ResearchOps?”. Kate is also the the Research Operations Lead at Atlassian.

Kate has quite an interesting background and probably not the one you’d expect or guess to how she ended up doing what she is now.

With experience and background in content strategy, she began working in early technology companies in the early days of the internet. As with many of us, she sort of “backed into this role” in UX and research.

Eventually, Kate was asked to help in a new role which commissioned her to “research the researchers”. Through this project, she had the opportunity to do user research with user research professionals.

Very meta…but also very cool.

Through this work, Kate began to realize her passion and interest in user research, but more specifically, helping researchers do their work more effectively.

She shared quite a few interesting findings she uncovered through examining user researchers and their work. I know you’re going to find it fascinating.

Beyond that, Kate and I obviously had an in depth chat about ResearchOps, the global community and workshops as well as what they found. It’s an awesome effort and story that I’m sure you’ll take away some great nuggets to apply to your own work and team.

Now of course, in discussing ResearchOps, Kate and I got into the topic of user research repositories or libraries.

She had an interesting set of insights on how and why folks are using those as part of their ResearchOps and overall UX research process.

Now, I wouldn’t be doing my job very well if I didn’t mention that our product, Aurelius, is a user research repository for UX, research and product teams.

Aurelius helps you tag, organize, search and share all your user research data and key insights in one place. So if you’re looking to start using a user research repository, you should check us out at Aurelius.

Head over to our website for a 14 day free trial or get in touch, I’m happy to answer any questions personally, I’d love to hear from you.

Listen to Episode 33 for highlights with Kate Towsey including:

  • Kate’s background and how she got into user research and ResearchOps
  • What it was like to “research the researchers”
  • The global ResearchOps community and how it all began
  • Research repositories and libraries
  • Leading research operations at Atlassian
  • How and why the ResearchOps community grew to what it is now
  • Kate’s definition for #WhatisResearchOps?

Kate Towsey is the main “instigator” of the global ResearchOps community. She is currently the Research Operations Lead at Atlassian.

You can find Kate on Twitter, the ResearchOps Slack Channel or her personal website: http://katetowsey.co.uk

This episode was originally published on the Aurelius blog.

Like what you read and heard? There’s more where that came from on the Aurelius Podcast. If you’re looking to get the most out of your user research and customer feedback insights, check out Aurelius for a 14 day free trial.