As a growing start-up, managing a Product team at first is a matter of using intuition and domain knowledge. But when your product starts growing faster than you imagined and you have thousands of users and millions of data points in the database - this is a different challenge. This was the challenge that was given to me after our head of product left the business.
Data is your best product management strategy
My strategy for managing the team is to use data to define our product success metrics. Visualizing the data allows us to see easily what we need to improve. After trying many different tools to monitor user behavior in our product we eventually realized that all the data we needed are user actions logged in our database. As a non-developer, I was initially frustrated by having to raise a ticket for a developer to write a simple query and visualize it on our Admin dashboard. Then I discovered Metabase, an open-source data visualization tool with a very intuitive UI that helps you build powerful queries in a few clicks.
6 steps to ensure data-driven product management
- Track everything. Capture every user’s action on your product. Mining these data will prove to be a goldmine at some point in the future;
- Set targets, metrics and KPI’s. How do we know we are doing well if we haven’t defined what good is?
- Have daily, weekly, and monthly targets. Having frequent checkpoints allowed us to take remedial action quickly before leaving it too late;
- Create reports and send them out to team members. I sent reports every morning to the product team and when the results were positive it gave them a boost. When the results were not good it also gave them the motivation to improve it;
- Everything can be measured in numbers. I phased out the culture of anecdotal performance tracking but instead defined what success meant for every product feature;
- Take away dependencies from developers; use modern tools like Metabase to allow anyone both technical and non-technical to create queries in minutes. For us the ability to answer questions by creating new queries on the fly sped our decision-making process;