Category posts
Interviews with expert PMs

We interview seasoned product people on various topics. Their expertise will help you find a path from your current career track to product management, get better at using data, and get a deeper understanding of your product in general.
Author:
Editorial
Pros and cons of a data-driven culture
Pros and cons of a data-driven culture

While most product managers know that using data in their daily activities can have tremendous benefits, sometimes they find themselves in an environment where doing so is not easy. Perhaps they don’t have access to the data they need, the data is unreliable, or there is no support in place to incorporate data into their processes. These product managers are not in a data-driven culture.

A data-driven culture is when an organization embraces data to make decisions at all levels. The organization has the infrastructure and talent needed to collect, transform, and analyze data, along with reliable and trustworthy data sources. There is an importance on using data to support hypotheses and resolutions. Data-driven cultures embrace data and bake it into their everyday processes.

But a data-driven culture doesn’t just happen on its own. It needs both top-down and bottom-up support in the organization. Upper management must make the decision to invest in data and infrastructure while the teams must believe that using data in their daily jobs is beneficial. And while data enthusiasts in an organization can plant the seed, the entire organization’s support is needed for a data-driven culture to blossom.

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Author:
Editorial
Data-driven, data-informed, and data-inspired product decisions. What are the differences and when should you use each one?
Data-driven, data-informed, and data-inspired product decisions. What are the differences and when should you use each one?

When an organization says they are data-driven, they typically mean that they base decisions on data. But there can be vast differences with how data is used to make these decisions. Is data only being used to validate straightforward decisions? Are multiple sources of data combined with other factors to determine priorities like the features to be worked on next quarter? Or is an exploration of data being used to spark innovation and determine new strategy? Each situation requires different skills, tools, and ways of working with data to be successful.

This is why the concepts of data-informed and data-inspired are being added to the data-driven discussion; they allow for a more nuanced definition of how data is actually used in an organization. Data-informed and data-inspired decisions consider depending not only on data for clear-cut decisions, but on using data in conjunction with other important influences and to invent something new.

Some may argue that adding the terms data-informed and data-inspired to the data-driven discussion adds complexity and muddles the discussion around data. While that may be true in some cases, really understanding how to correctly use data based on a particular need is critical to creating products that customers love. In the end, the terminology isn’t as important as making sure you’re getting the most out of data. 

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Author:
Editorial
Using data to understand competitive and market dynamics
Using data to understand competitive and market dynamics

Product managers know that understanding their market and competition inside and out is vital to the success of their products. Comprehensive market knowledge tells you what problems your customers are trying to solve, what they want, and ultimately what new features or products to build. Knowing the competitive landscape helps to set your business apart, allows you to create a strategy to deal with new competitive developments, and helps to arm your sales team to win against the competition. 

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