The recent developments in data science and end-user data tools indicate an opportunity for designers to adapt new data tools for design enquiry. Data has an unquestionable role in the future of the design practice for creating new digital products and services. Today’s data deluge also opens up new ways of enquiring about the world through data. The current work explores how designers could appropriate a data science workflow in their design research process. Two studies are conducted to explore how a data science workflow could be adapted into a design research process. We present how the participants appropriated data techniques for creative uses and how they synthesized a data-centric enquiry into their research process. We found that designers appropriate data using their creative capacities in hypothesis forming for data collection and exploratory data analysis, and we highlight some implications of this. Our findings can inform the design space of the creativity support of future data tools and future data-centric design methods.