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6 Ways Leveraging Data in your Product Roadmap Can Elevate Your Business

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In today’s digital age, data is a gold mine for new possibilities. It moves away from gut-instinct business decisions and instead focuses on evaluating, listening and incorporating deeper customer understanding. This method results in better informed decision making and maximizing business outcomes. This is known as Product-led growth, and it is a game-changer for any business looking to thrive in the digital landscape. It is critical that business is informed by both quantifiable (large sample size data of what your users are doing) and qualitative data (smaller sample size of why your using are doing things and what their needs are) to get the full context. So, how can embracing this method help you achieve business outcomes that connect to your customers? Let’s explore.

Smarter Product Development

How do you know what you’re building for your users is something that they will adopt? There are a multitude of different tools that you can use to help answer this question. User behavior analytics can aid in pinpointing friction in the experience, understand use of the app or features, and provide signals and trends for further exploration. Interviews, sentiment analysis and user research studies help better understand what your user desires or why they are experiencing issues. We also get a better understanding of who your customer is and how best to serve them. This customer-focus mentality allows you to make more confident decisions when developing your digital products, leading to growth and retention.

Enhanced Customer Experiences

Data doesn’t just help with knowing what to focus on with product development; it can also aid in optimizing the experience within your digital products. By incorporating user research data into your roadmap, you can better understand your customer and their needs. This enables you to better solve problems, and often-times unearth new opportunities previously unidentified. By getting close to your current and future customers you can guide your approach to the product’s design in a thoughtful, empathic way that increases loyalty and trust in your brand—leading to greater adoption and brand advocacy.

Better Investments

Creating quality digital products isn’t cheap. It requires an investment of time, money, and talent. However, you can approach this with a data driven perspective as well.  By identifying high-impact initiatives, solutions, and goals, you can prioritize them against the effort involved with each. There are many different frameworks we use in Product Management to force rank priority (RICE, ICE, WSJF to name a few), by removing opinion-oriented subjectivity and using quantitative data to inform what to focus on next. You’re making safer bets on where your resources will yield the results and bring your innovative solutions to market faster.

Staying Ahead of the Curve

In order to keep up with the ever evolving digital world, your digital solutions will need to evolve as well. Market data and competitive analysis provides the insights needed to continuously improve and innovate your digital products by better understanding where the industry is moving and how your business can respond. Being aware of the changing market and customer need allows your product to evolve.

Demonstrating Your Success

Quantify the impact your digital products are making by setting clear objectives and expected key results (OKRs).  It’s hard to argue with numbers. By setting goals that make an impact on important business metrics like customer satisfaction, usability, operational efficiencies and revenue, you can better justify the investments made to your stakeholders and pivot quickly if you’re not trending in the direction your expected. Not only that, but this fosters a culture of accountability, alignment, and transparency. 

Driving Business Growth

By capturing and understanding data, listening to your customers, and analyzing frequently, you’re creating a more mature digital product which results in long term growth and retention of your customers. By making data-driven decisions, you can ensure your digital products align with your business objectives and contribute to your bottom line.

Using data to guide your decisions is a powerful strategy for any business investing in digital solutions. It empowers you to make informed, more confident choices faster, enhancing your customer’s experiences, and driving business growth. It is easier said than done however, and ensuring you have the right data and the right method for analyzing it is just as important. Investing in the right talent to guide this transformation is imperative for making an impact towards accelerating the growth of your business. If you’re looking to take the next step in creating a strategic product roadmap that directly maps back to your business goals, embracing a data-driven approach is the way to go. 

Originally published in EXP Magazine.


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