Hackernoon logoWhat Does It Mean To Be A Data-Driven Product Manager? by@pramod.pandey83

What Does It Mean To Be A Data-Driven Product Manager?

Pramod Chandrayan Hacker Noon profile picture

@pramod.pandey83Pramod Chandrayan

CPO @FarmArt | AIML| Data Science | Product Engineering Consultant

In this modern era where technological revolution is at its pinnacle, no business can afford to serve its customers without understanding their likes and dislikes, their preferences, and their innate feelings. Organizations today accept this fact openly: being data-driven top of the priority list; understanding the value they can draw out of storing, processing and analysing their customer data.

With this idea, it becomes imperative that you as the product owner, leader and manager are championing this in your company and customizing your software offerings tailor-made and crafted with care for your consumers.

Why You Should Care to Be Data-Driven?

You have assumed, created your hypothesis, brainstormed it with experts, and come up with 2–3 core features in your solution which you want to offer to your targeted customer segment, but how do you know that these 3 features will stick, or which one of the 2–3 features will be accepted by your real users? Maybe none of the features are actually adding value?

When you own a product, you should understand that you are owning customer pain points, and in that scenario, user validation is fundamental, which requires data-strategy to play the anchor role around which your whole hypothesis is based on. Customer feedback must be sought, and only then you will roll out to test those features, and achieve real user buy-in.

The only way is to track their app usage behaviour and segment your user based on the feature use cases, but this will require you to have the data capturing tool inbuilt within your solution where you are able to map the app usage patterns and analyse it at the backend using some visual tools.

Every event has to be tapped from your app and needs to be stored in your DB. This information will help you measure which of your core features are being loved by your user and which one is not adding any values.

This is what being data-driven can offer, and there are many such valuable insights which you will be able to make sense of only if you are prioritizing your endeavour to be data-focused.

So what are some of the visible benefit of being data-driven:Loyal & highly satisfied customer baseInformed & targeted feature releases can save cost, time and energy for the company and the teamCan help you craft designs and solutions which customer can cherishKeep you better-placed w.r.t to your competitorsRapid prototyping and A/B testing

Being a responsible PM you can leverage the power of data democratization to offer more values out to your customer, better customer engagement and eventually help you clean your feature pipeline to pick which is more relevant and impactful, to be pursued by your developer team.

Being a product leader myself, I can easily say that by being data hungry, any organization can:

  1. Stay razor-focused in their delivery decisions within the organization
  2. Give more power to your customer through data-based reporting so that they will trust the company more and will be retainable for longer period of time

As PM, How You Can Generate A Real Value Out Of This Gold Mine?

Well, data has to be processed and converted into something meaningful, visual and actionable to be tracked and harnessed by your internal stakeholders as well as by your end consumer.

1. Don't Be To Techy In Your Way of Presenting Insights To Your Customers: Remember your customers may not be so tech-savvy to simply view the data full of excel or PDF reports, instead, they will be much more comfortable if all the data is organized and bundled into simple actionable icons and buttons.They should have a simple and easy to consume interface within your solutions, which will give them what they are looking for in a few clicks, and then if they want to get into the depth, give them detailed report.

As PM you need to be more thinking in terms of design-driven user experience to present the data-driven insights.

2. Identify Bottlenecks & Ease The User App Usage Experience: As PM, the onus is on you to identify where your user is not feeling comfortable, Where in the app journey, your user is feeling stuck, and then go on to change the app designs to remove that bottleneck. Measure the impact of your changes continuously and improve.

Any kind of friction may lead to the opportunity lost kind of situation which needs to be pro-actively identified and fixed as soon as possible

3. Have an eye for the possibilities, by tapping user behaviour: It can be the case, where your user may give you an insight by how they are experiencing the product, which may lead to some new app feature possibility which your user may or may not be directly aware of.

4. Get Your Priorities Right: One of the biggest pain points which I have experienced is that it really becomes difficult as a Product leader to prioritise their feature list. Without any data insights, it is never going to be easy and only you will end up assuming a lot of things and confusing your release plans.

So leverage the power of user data and get your priorities right

5. Influence, Impact and Win Hearts: Remember being a product manager is not easy, you have to be authoritative without being a decision-maker, you have to be an influencer and get stakeholder buy-in every time you draft your product roadmap. You have to convince your department leads and heads to align with what you are trying to sell.

But this all will become super easy and convincing when you present your case with data at your side.

Data will be answering to all the Why’s which will be thrown at you

6. Time Is Ticking Fast, How Fast You Can Be? Data-driven decisions will cut a lot of crappy things which knowingly, unknowingly were filling your bucker fast, you will be able to pick tasks which will be value-driven and you will be able to deliver with the required confidence and clarity.

So now as PM, you will be playing a crucial role in saving companies time and money by releasing fast and releasing continuously.

Product release delays and budgets are always a concern for growing startups, so if you know what to build and when to build, you will be able to test your features fast, get the feedback fast and get customer buy-in effectively.

Remember,

Building a product for a user is like nurturing your own baby, which requires you to be attentive to their daily needs but also needs you to be creating a foundation for their sustainable future growth.

So fuel your appetite with user data and help them feel listened and special.

Thanks a lot for reading…

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