Data vs. Vision. Two different approaches to solving a problem. Both valid, not necessarily antagonic. Neither of the two is the valid answer. Some designers like one, some the other. What you have to concede, is even by having extensive user research there is no guarantee that the end product will be useful, cause you still have the interpretation of a human being translating the data onto something. That’s why some like to skip it and start interpreting right away. Vision also comes from interpreting historical references and similar solutions to be adapted to solve the problem, so essentially it’s not a research-less path.