We need evidence-based design. Because what we are doing first and foremost is designing. It doesn’t matter how much research we do, or what method we use. There is no one right answer. It matters that we have sufficient evidence to support our choices and decisions, however we get that evidence.
The notion of “data-driven design” reinforces the false belief that quantitative data (measurements) are inherently superior to qualitative (descriptions), that the data will tell you what to do. But they aren’t and won’t. No matter how good your data, you will need to ask the right questions, interpret the answers, and determine the implications for what you’re designing. As long as humans are involved, data-driven design is still just human bias-driven design (like all design, really) with a name that inspires false confidence.