How To Improve Product Management Process with Data (+5 benefits)

How To Improve Product Management Process with Data (+5 benefits)

By Stiliyan Neychev

July 26, 2022

Data for Products

Your team probably wonders every now and then whether a particular product feature is being used enough times to keep it, or whether the clients/customers use your product to its full potential. Or, on a more strategy-oriented thought, you might also be wondering whether there is a way to multiply profits or forecast the demand.

This is where data comes into the picture.

This is where data comes into the picture. - B EYE

At every stage of the product management process from idea management and specifications to road-mapping and delivery, there is data that helps you make informed decisions and deliver a product that is sought after by the market. You can use this data to experiment with product features, act on customer feedback, research the future market demand, and so on – the opportunities are endless.

This is how analytics can enhance every step of the product management journey.

Pre-Launch Analytics

Pre-launch analytics are those first steps to launching a new product – idea management and specifications. Here we usually deal with market research and competitor analysis.

market research and comeptitor analysis - through a magnifying glass

Competitor analysis is a must-have in your pre-launch package. Like ancient Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu said in his famous book, The Art of War: “If you know the enemy and you know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles”. Recognizing where your competitor outshines you and where you outperform them can help you get ahead of the game.

Gathering the data is the first step of the process. With the right tools, it can give you insights into consumer brand preferences and strategic growth opportunities. Reports like sentiment analysis, what-if scenario analysis, and trend analysis can give you visibility over the emerging trends in your own brand perception and help you define a long-term product strategy.

market research analysis

And what about your competitors? You can track how they are progressing compared to your products. Where are they advertising? What is the market share? You don’t need to guess, you need data. Preferably visualized data like it is done here. Competitor analytics is half of your market research – you learn about what is working in a particular market by looking at your competitors’ campaign performance. Whatever works for them you can improve, whatever did not work well for them can give an understanding of what’s not working well in the industry, with some exceptions of course.

Product Launch Analytics

Road-mapping and delivery both don’t stop at the product launch point. That’s why it is a product management process – you continuously adjust and improve the product as it reaches the market, gains value, and so on.

One thing you should do as soon as you reach the product launch day is to track your new product’s penetration rate and check how well they are doing against the competition. Tracking leads as they move through the customer journey and conducting attribution analysis will give you an accurate idea of the adoption process and demand.

360 product launch analytics - B EYE

A good product launch analytics dashboard allows you to inspect various what-if scenarios based on distinct forecast schemes so that you can make data-driven decisions. An accurate forecast allows you to efficiently allocate resources and manage cash flow. You get benchmarks for future trends together with the revenue expectations. Or in simple words, you know where you stand and what you can do going forward.

Launch your product and see where it lands (or better, influence where it lands). Now what?

Post-Launch Analytics a.k.a. Product Management

Why, again, is it called a product management process? Exactly, because you adjust and improve the product continuously. With data.

Use sales analytics to evaluate the effectiveness of your current sales strategy, find flaws in the process, reward your high-performers, make sure there is no product cannibalization or try new markets and/or strategies. Based on your current product data, you can predict scenarios for future launches and maximize results while minimizing errors – basically, optimize for ROIs.

Review the data you’ve collected so far. You will likely have customer feedback, sales data, CLTV, marketing data, financials, etc. A whole pool of information that can help you make informed decisions going forward. You can pretty much know what will happen if you change A and keep B.

“Organizations who place a strategic emphasis on data and have an advanced strategy to extract business value gain 83% more revenue.”

Accenture

I will put a special emphasis on customer feedback here. This is your bread and butter. You can collect this data through surveys, advisory boards, satisfaction interviews, or social media (which is a big one, by the way – everyone has an opinion on social media). And don’t forget your past customer data – those who did not become returning clients. This is where you get the majority of the information about what went wrong.

Real-time Global Sales Reporting - B EYE

I would recommend using a combination of those data collection tools. What you get is comprehensive data on where your sales cycle breaks and how your product is performing. Here is how it all lines up in a dashboard.

5 Key Benefits of Using a Product Management Dashboard

Depending on the available data and how it is collected in the company there are several ways to optimize the product performance with data. Because even if you have the data, managing, optimizing, and analyzing high volumes of it is hard, to say the least.

1. Visibility over your product management process

You get to see your data in real-time, with the option to drill down to the most granular level and find the cause of underperformance of any kind. Or, on the contrary, you can find what works best for a particular region, which practices should be applied globally, and where you need to allocate more resources.

1.	Visibility over your product management process

These insights visualized in a user-friendly dashboard like this one, have a high chance of making your life easier. And if you have to report to someone, and chances are you do, you have everything you need for a high-quality report at any point in time.

2. An up-to-date overview of the customer feedback

First, it allows you to quickly react to your customers’ complaints. You see what is happening, when it is happening, and you can quickly assign someone to fix the problem. You can even set up notifications to your email for certain events.

set up notifications to your email for certain events - automation and analytics

Second, customer feedback is some of the most unstructured data types that are out there. Having it organized is a sweet idea. Filter incoming feedback by sentiment, time, day, product update, response speed, keywords, etc. Acting fast is important, acting faster than your competition is crucial.

3. Continuous competitor monitoring

To stay ahead of the competition, you need to know what the competition is doing. A product management dashboard allows to monitor competitor performance and get alerts when there is a new player on the market. You can define specific parameters of what is to be considered your competition and set up the alerting system when “anomalies” (new competitors) are detected.

You can identify which key opinion leaders your competitors use to promote their influence and combine it with public data to identify potential sponsorship opportunities.

Key opinion leaders analysis - B EYE

This key opinion leaders analysis dashboard gives you a 360 view of the most important people in your industry and in your area or a topic that you want to focus on and the people you would like to interact with. These are the influencers, who could help you to expand your product, presence, and market share if they better understand your product. They could influence your target audience and drive the conversation towards your product.

This was actually a product we have done for a pharma client. The end goal and the beauty of this project were to connect this tool and these external sources to their CRM. The client was able to see whether they interact with these doctors, or whether they still have to start interacting with them. They discovered which doctors work for hospitals that are already their clients, or which doctors could help bring a new client into their business and expand the network and market opportunities. 

4. Data availability

A product management dashboard would typically combine all related data sources in one place making it easy to access from anywhere. It allows different departments to work with the same data simultaneously and collaborate in real-time.

A dashboard also gives you all the data that you need, with filters. You don’t have to search for it or wait for your request to be processed. It is readily available for you to use, gather insights, and make data-driven decisions.

data availability is crucial to product management success

5. Data transparency

Often, our clients’ teams highlight the lack of data transparency as one of the main issues. When it is not clear where the data is coming from, or when you don’t have the bigger picture of the insights, data can be manipulated to your advantage or disadvantage.

Having a transparent overview of all KPIs and performance goals improves the feeling of trust and support in the company, helping everyone work towards a common goal, rather than compete against each other.

The progress towards the product-related milestones could be checked at any time with a product management dashboard. Every campaign’s performance is visible, and you can use the data to focus on the best-performing campaigns and dispose of the underperforming ones.

data-driven bonus calculations for data transparency and performance improvement

For a client, we also did a bonus system calculation, to ensure that every manager and sales rep was always aware of what bonus they would be receiving and why. This helped morale and boosted the department’s performance by 17%.

How to Use Data for Product Management

We have already talked about the different ways to improve the product launch process with data. Product management is the art of continuously optimizing the product and the user experience while staying ahead of your competition. A product management dashboard gives you a comprehensive look at performance metrics and clear visibility of where your biggest areas of potential improvement are.

With proper data granularity that can be tailored-made to your needs, you can drill down the different data layers to get to the bottom of what drives your sales and what does not bring added value. Your people receive full transparency on their performance and know where their priorities should be for the upcoming period.

Whether you use tools like Qlik NPrinting, Power Automate, or the likes to automate your report generation, or prefer to do it manually, having the data at your fingertips allows you to share data-backed insights with other teams seamlessly. You can also be sure that the data is accurate and up to date.

Get Started with Data-Driven Product Management

If you want to be a leader or a pioneer in your industry, having a data-driven approach with instant access to the key business insights is key. Reach out to us to get one step closer to achieving your most ambitious goals for your products.