92: Get “Data-Driven” With The The Most Powerful Computer For Analytics

“Data-driven” Product Management

Andy Bowden raised a great question for product managers on LInkedIn last week:

Do you show your value through quantifiable results? If so, how? If not, why not?

Many of us struggle coming up with numbers that reflect what our employers seek from us.

That question was the springboard to this episode (which deviates somewhat from actually being an answer to the question).

Of course, I like to be able to use numbers to buttress my success stories, if I can, but the more important components of the stories are the transformations – both personal and business – that I enabled. The numbers contribute but the transformations engage.

I think it’s funny that so many product managers try to find quantitative results from their analytics tools to drive decisions, when the most powerful computer known to humanity – which doesn’t just deal in numbers, by the way – is the one between our ears.

So, in this episode, how to think about that computer – which, to be honest, has gotten a bad rap lately – and how to use it better.

It’s far better at pattern matching, at finding and interpreting weak signals, at making sense of sparse data, than any software product. And those abilities are the core of the product management job – finding new problems to solve, especially problems that no one else is solving well, and developing innovative solutions to them.

The book list

This episode was almost like a “here’s the books I recommend” screed. So, here are the books I mentioned. (Note: the links are affiliate links. If you buy one of the books of the link I get a little commission at no cost to you.)

Think Again, by Adam Grant
Noise, by Daniel Kahneman
Decisive, by Chip and Dan Heath
How to Measure Anything, by Douglas W. Hubbard
Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell
The Invisible Gorilla, by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons

Other links I mentioned in the episode

My previous related episodes:

Even MORE resources

If you are just getting into product management, or you’re busy leveling up into more senior PM positions, don’t forget there are a ton of resources in my previous episodes – on storytelling, persuasion, prioritization, working with developers, working with marketers – and on my website The Secret Product Manager Handbook.

And if you want to accelerate your product management career, go to calendly.com/nilsdavis/consultation for a free 45 minute coaching and discovery call. No obligation.

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