Category posts
Professions and skills

What skills are essential for product managers and analysts? How has the job of a product manager changed over time? And why should every team member know key product metrics?
Author:
Oleg Ya
How to increase the effectiveness of your product analysts

Finding insights and answers to questions in data is a key skill in product analytics. And developing this skill is the area where analysts usually see their growth potential.

Talking from experience, I strongly recommend paying attention to another aspect of analytical work: communication skills. Key here is not only finding insights, but also turning them into projects and making sure they convert into real value for users. 

Getting to this point requires building relationships with the team, participating in key discussions, gaining credibility, and learning to present information in an effective way.

This article provides a series of recommendations for product analysts. However, it will be equally useful for product managers and executives who want to maximize the impact of analysts working in their teams.

Test your product management and data skills with this free Growth Skills Assessment Test.

Learn data-driven product management in Simulator by GoPractice.

How to increase the effectiveness of your product analysts
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Author:
Oleg Ya
Why every team member should know the key product metrics

When I worked at Facebook, the Workplace analytics team had a cool tradition: The team’s weekly meetings always started with a small data quiz.

The winner of the previous week’s competition would prepare a question about the product’s key metrics. For example, “what was last month’s MAU?” or “how many new users joined last week?” or “what proportion of the new companies reach 10 users?” or “what was last month’s revenue?” The question had one requirement: Its answer had to be found on the team’s dashboard.

Why every team member should know the key product metrics

The participants were to write down the answer without getting help from computers, which meant we could only use our memory to do so. The person whose answer was closest to the correct number got +1 point in the chart, and the person who was the farthest lost 1 point. Every six months, a winner was chosen and the game started again.

I participated in five seasons and won three of them. In one of the final rounds, I was tied with another analyst. The team arranged the final round, where we had to answer five questions in a blitz quiz. I managed to score the winning point and won the mug that you see in the photo below.

I told this story not because I wanted to brag about winning the quiz (well, this too, to be honest). In almost every quiz, the respondents’ guesses on metrics were distributed across a wide range, which I found surprising.

Why? Well, first of all, it was the analysts who played the game. They were the people who worked with data most of their time and should have been good at navigating it. Second, these analysts were working at Facebook, a company that has a very advanced and strong data culture. At Facebook, each team has clear goals, dashboards are available to all the company’s employees, and all meetings start with progress updates on key metrics. How could these people be so wrong in answering questions about the product they were working on?

If you decide to play this game with your company’s employees, you will most likely be as surprised as I was. It will turn out that most people have very vague ideas about the key metrics of your product and business. And some people will have no idea at all.

In this essay, we will discuss why it is important for team members to remember at least approximate values ​​of the key product metrics, why this usually doesn’t happen, and how to get there.

Test your product management and data skills with this free Growth Skills Assessment Test.

Learn data-driven product management in Simulator by GoPractice.

Why every team member should know the key product metrics
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Author:
Editorial
How to move from marketing to product management?
How to move from marketing to product management?

In this blog post, we will look at professionals who switched from marketing to product management and what they learned on this journey.

Our partner Sean Ellis made a poll on LinkedIn to find out more about people’s experience in switching to product management. From this survey, we learned that most people came to product management from marketing, which turned out to be a great starting point.

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Author:
Editorial
Key data skills for product managers: experienced PMs sharing their thoughts
Key data skills for product managers: experienced PMs sharing their thoughts

Data is at the heart of product management: from forming and validating hypotheses to designing and running experiments to measuring the impact of product changes and understanding the market dynamics.

To find out more about the different aspects of data skills in product management, we spoke to experienced product managers from different companies and industries. Their comments will give you a good understanding of the following:

  • What data skills are important for product managers and why?
  • How do companies evaluate the data skills of people they want to hire for a PM position?
  • How can you improve your data skills?

Test your product management and data skills with this free Growth Skills Assessment Test.

Learn data-driven product management in Simulator by GoPractice.

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Author:
Oleg Ya
Product manager skills: evolution of a PM role and its transformation
Product manager skills: evolution of a PM role and its transformation

Some believe that a product manager’s job is to formulate and prioritize hypotheses, and then turn them into knowledge through A/B tests and research.

Others think that a product manager’s role is to be a user advocate, make features, and improve product metrics.

And then there are those who see the product manager as the person who manages the roadmap, motivates the team, improves the unit economics, optimizes key funnel conversions, and is responsible for the product’s revenue.

In reality, depending on the team, product managers do some or all of the above.

But these are only tools that should help achieve the most important goal, a goal that product managers often forget.

Test your product management and data skills with this free Growth Skills Assessment Test.

Learn data-driven product management in Simulator by GoPractice.

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Author:
Oleg Ya
What is the difference between growth product manager, marketing manager, and core PM
What is the difference between growth product manager, marketing manager, and core PM

This is part of a series of articles on the basics of product management and building products that people need.

In this article, we discuss the “growth product manager” role, how and when it appeared, and how it differs from the roles of marketing managers and core product managers. We will also examine the main tools that growth product managers use.

As the product manager profession matured, it began to specialize into different areas. We previously discussed that one of these areas is the task that the product accomplishes. In this respect, the product manager of a B2B task tracker and that of a casual mobile game have very different skill sets.

Another dimension of specialization is the type of product work that the product manager focuses on: Does the PM work on creating value or delivering it to users? It is across this line that core PM and growth PM separate.

Test your product management and data skills with this free Growth Skills Assessment Test.

Learn data-driven product management in Simulator by GoPractice.

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Author:
Editorial
How to move from engineering to product management?
How to move from engineering to product management?

Many people have made a successful transition from an engineering career to a product management one. These two paths have a lot in common. They’re both focused on meeting customer needs and building great products. The two roles must work together to ensure the right solution is built. But of course there are differences. Product managers focus more on the “why” and the “what” while engineers focus on the “how.” Product managers uncover unmet customer needs and create a vision to address them, while engineering actually builds out that vision.

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Author:
Editorial
Product growth, reinvented: what growth hacking is (and isn’t)
Product growth, reinvented: what growth hacking is (and isn’t)

Approaches to product growth changed when growth hacking came onto the scene more than a decade ago. But like any influential concept, growth hacking has inspired criticism, diverse schools of thought, and more than a few misconceptions.

As we describe here, there is no authoritative, one-size-fits-all definition of growth hacking. But in the most general terms, it is a process aimed at communicating the key value of a product to the largest possible audience. These efforts span the entire product and marketing funnel and involve software engineers, designers, and analysts. A number of spin-off methodologies and frameworks have emerged containing many of the same principles.

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