To be data driven

You are the creator of a product, and when your product has a lot of users, you will have to concede the ownership of your product. You won’t own it anymore. Instead, your users will own your product. It helps them a lot more than it helps you. The decisions you make on the development of your product will no more be your own. You will have to be data driven.

In this article, I will be sharing my view on what it means to be data driven.

To be data driven means to be taking a utilitarian standpoint on the development of your product.

As the creator of your product, you must realise that you are only one person. There could be thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people who actually use your product. Coherently, the decisions you make should be backed by the voices, opinions, and views of each and every one of your users. Not your own, because in the end, you are just one person.

It will be difficult to listen to every user’s voice. Most of them will probably not be very vocal about their thought processes. A few of them will opt-in to participate in your surveys and user interviews, but not all of them. What you can do instead, is to make skeletons of their thought processes by tracking all of your users’ interactions with your product.

This sounds dangerous. Tracking? Isn’t that like stalking? Well, yes and no. Yes because you are indeed watching them. No because you don’t really care about individual users. You care more what the majority does, so that you can build better for the majority of your users. You can also identify minorities, or anomalies, and better your product to help them become part of the majority.

You always want one successful majority.

Tracking your users means getting more data out of them. Every interaction from every user is a data point. You make product development decisions based on this data. Hence the term data driven decisions.

When you finally surrender the ownership of your product to your users, you will make a good product.