The impact of data on decision-making

Numbers speak louder than words!

Data may be just a bunch of numbers, but they do have a powerful role when it comes to product development. Defining all aspects of a product entails a series of easy and hard decisions around a wide range of things:

What should it look like? What would its target audience be? How would this audience interact with it? How would the product respond? What factors would affect the way it operates?

Making informed decisions is the key to the success of a product. If you think about it, even one bad decision that defines a teeny-tiny feature of a product can prove to be detrimental to the overall success. So making the right decisions is crucial. The process of decision-making varies, depending on the complexity of what needs to be addressed, and sometimes is easy and effortless, while other times is daunting and requires some backing.

Digital products and data

When we talk about digital products, this backing comes from data. Technology is evolving and we have reached a point where we can gather information from a wide range of sources. All this information has a single point of reference, though: the target audience. This audience can consist of a single type of user or multiple personas, which need to be defined and thoroughly researched.

We get information about our users and their behaviors through an impressive range of metrics. Take for example Google Analytics, a tool that collects information about user behaviors and journeys across an online experience. Analysts, PMs and relevant professionals can collect data based on location, duration, tech-savviness, content, interactive events, market value, competition and so much more. Then they can combine the gathered data and measure several key KPIs that define the success of a product and its future in the market.

Just take a moment to imagine what would happen if that wasn’t the case. What if all decisions were driven by random notions and ideas, requests coming by individual needs, completely ignoring what the people who will actually use the product want? In this case, many bad decisions would be made, essentially damaging the marketability of the product, leading to its inevitable doom.

Wrapping up

It all comes down to data and it always will. Knowing you audience (as well as your market) is a key factor in the success of a product. Without it, you end up building and marketing the wrong thing, having wasted a lot of time, money and effort in the meantime.

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