I blend a unique combination of “hard” technical, scientific & data-driven skills with “soft” interpersonal, communication, creative & management experience — supported by an extensive foundation of social and behavioral scientific expertise.KJPayne-body4-2013

I’ve spent a lot of years developing a very particular set of skills for designing studies, collecting data, analyzing data, and communicating the insights from data — as well as designing and developing digital tools and organizational procedures that support the best acquisition, management and use of data. In our information-saturated era, those are exactly the tools your business needs to support better real-time decisions.

In short, I bring the technical skills and social science insights to help you make, implement and monitor better decisions.

I study people, organizations and markets — and how information technology affects them. I specialize in how to do this kind of study and make it relevant to real world decisions. I bring breadth and depth of expertise, decades of experience, a boatload of education and teaching, and a rigorous, empirical, critical, and creative perspective. I help clients get better meaning from better data, understand the possibilities for better decisions, and make better success in their lives and enterprise through social science.

Feel free to download my résumé or my curriculum vitae.


To provide clients with better understanding of people, organizations and markets. And, through that understanding:
1. Collect, capture and identify better human data.
2. Integrate those data into organizational processes and real-time decision support.
3. Generate actionable insights.
4. Monitor better decisions in action.


I was trained as a social scientist. To be precise, my Ph.D. is from the University of Missouri-Columbia (Mizzou) in Sociology with a collateral field in Psychology and specializations in Social Psychology, Theories and Research Methodologies. My undergraduate degree is from William Jewell College‘s Oxford-Cambridge Honors Program in Institutions & Policy (Economics, Political Science, Philosophy, and, in my case, a healthy dose of Mathematics and Econometrics). That major is patterned on the traditional British Procedures & Policies (P&P) major and I spent a year as a visiting student in Oxford.


I’ve maintained an active research agenda for over two decades. In that time, I’ve authored more than 40 academic research publications and presentations for regional, national, and international venues. Most of my research has concerned methodological, mathematical, and statistical improvements to all stages of the research process. But I have also done significant research in human-computer interaction (HCI), virtual reality, and artificial intelligence, as well as on diverse topics including program evaluation, fiscal policy analysis, market prediction, educational outcomes, ideology and public opinion, scientific innovation, cultural systems, social movements, and social theory. In additional to my own research, I have acted as a technical, theoretical, or substantive consultant on dozens of academic and applied projects.


I first sat down in front of a computer and began to program as a kid in 1977. Through the intervening years, I have kept up-to-date with the cutting edge of each new digital development. I have a strong background in computing and information theories, and significant experience in application and user experience/user interface (UX/UI) design. And I have programmed in more than a dozen languages — currently, I’m focusing on web and mobile development in HTML5, CSS3, Javascript with jQuery, Ruby on Rails, and R in an Eclipse environment. As a social scientist and an IT geek, I blend those diverse areas of expertise through a particular understanding of the social and psychological processes related to the development, adoption, use, and effects of those technologies. Back in 1998, I designed and began teaching one of the first college courses anywhere about how networked communication and information technologies were changing our identities, experiences, and world.


I grew up on stage, performing lead or featured roles in about forty theatrical productions, as well as in numerous musical ensembles, from childhood to graduate school. In high school, I also excelled at debate and forensics. In the press of grad school, performing fell by the wayside, but for the next few years, I turned my attention to another sort of audience: the university classroom. Yet I never forgot the power of a good story or my understanding that good education can entertain, as well.

For 15 years, I taught university at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In that time, I taught more than 8,000 students in 164 sections of 30 different courses in Sociology, Psychology, and other social sciences (including 82 sections of courses in Statistics and Research Methodology) in just about every imaginable size, format, duration, and mode of delivery to a variety of student populations. I also designed 26 new courses for inclusion into the curricula and deployed a variety of innovative teaching strategies.

Now, I direct my lifetime of speaking and training experience toward making human data more useful to your enterprise, and to improving organizational and individual decisions. My broad teaching background ensures that I have exactly the right examples ready to make better science and better data immediately relevant to your audience.


I was young when I was first bitten by the entrepreneurial bug. At a time when my friends were making money mowing lawns and throwing hay (which I dabbled in, too), I started my first consulting business. From 1982 through 1998, I made money through freelance coding, teaching computer programming, graphic design, and IT consulting to small businesses.

Eventually, I settled into my academic career and spent fifteen years (1997-2012) teaching university. But the lure of entrepreneurship is strong. For six years (2006-2011), I approached my position as Program Coordinator of Sociology at Park University as an “intrepreneur.”

In that capacity, I led the restructuring and administration of their Sociology Program, which included the first complete redesign of the Sociology and Social Psychology majors in more than three decades. When I took over the Sociology Program in 2006, it served 3,655 student enrollments in 9 regularly offered courses at 30 locations (employing 77 different instructors and generating about $2.2M in annual gross revenue). When I stepped down from that position to focus on my company at the end of 2011, it served 6,083 student enrollments in 30 regularly offered courses at 31 locations (employing 134 different instructors and generating about $5.5M in annual gross revenue). In 2006, Sociology was responsible for 3.7% of overall University enrollment and 3.8% of annual gross enrollment revenue; but in 2011, we were responsible for 7.0% of overall University enrollment and about 7.5% of annual gross enrollment revenue. About 21.0% of all University gross annual enrollment revenue increase between 2006 and 2011 was due to growth in the Sociology program I designed and administered. My program also significantly increased the diversity and depth of its offerings and significantly improved the proportion of courses taught by experienced, doctoral level faculty.

Now, I am involved in a number of ventures, but two are at the center of what I do. I founded DART Research, Inc. as a startup to develop technologies I had spent the last several years researching. DART Research is developing the platform technology for the next revolution beyond “Big Data:” better human data at scale. It’s a ground-up re-imagining of what our data can become — and how we can make it far more useful for organizations, professionals, and regular people, alike. DART is pioneering the data collection and analytics tools that enrich and compliment everyone else’s Big Data. DART is a different attitude toward data: ethical, secure, flexible, insightful, and always available to support better decisions, better enterprise, and better lives. We’re now in the age of “Big Data;” DART is developing the Age of Meaning.

I formed Kevin J. Payne, LLC as a platform for the results of my other major research streams: The Fit Framework™ for understanding ourselves and making better decisions, and the ADAPTS Cycle™ for research, program, project, process, change, operational and policy development and management. It also serves as the corporate entity for my consulting, data analytics, speaking, training, and writing services.

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