Aida Tabak, Senior Director, Analytics Product at ServiceNow, gave this presentation at the Product-Led Summit.

I've always been a bit of a data nerd. I love data. As early as my studies, I knew that I wanted to build analytics products. So that’s what I've been doing for many years now, and the company I'm currently doing it at is ServiceNow.

Why should you use data?

We’ve heard a lot about value and how to bring on different roles, and in this case, it's always about metrics. It's about how you show the value. How do you bring everyone to the same alignment? That’s really what it means to be a data-driven product manager (PM). 

So why should you use data? 


One of the key things for a PM is to use it during prioritization. Oftentimes, you have requests from sales and different stakeholders, and they're saying, “This is the most critical thing.” Or if you have a legacy product and you want to rebuild it, it's so useful if you can see the data and identify the key things that you should bring over. 

It helps you to have conversations across different roles when you're identifying the prioritization of your roadmap. 

Understand customers

The second part is to understand customers. With a lot of the data, you see how the customers are using your product. All of us go and talk to our customers on a regular basis, but it's really helpful if you spend some time understanding your customer based on product usage before you go to them. 

Do this before you go and conduct any type of usability testing, any type of interviews, or even roadmap sessions. 

Trigger enablement

The third reason is to trigger enablement. There's customer success, maybe outbound product management, marketing, etc. So it's really interesting to use the data and identify where we can help our customers by providing additional enablement material like videos, trainings, and specific sessions. And if you have partners, you can build up the ecosystem around it. 

The ultimate goal is for the customer to get the value they want out of the product. 

See impact

The fourth one, which is my favorite one, is that we want to see the impact that we're creating for the customers. 

If you have thousands of customers, you can’t go to every single one of them and see the impact you’ve created for them. Of course, that’d be amazing. Instantly seeing the value and the impact that you're creating for customers really motivates you to go beyond. 

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Turning data into action: Overcoming key challenges

One of the problems that I've encountered during this journey is that our company had a lot of data. 

But when we started the journey, we were trying to identify why we weren’t successful in using that data. We look at the data, we report on the data, and we send it to our management. But what do we do with that data? 

I love this quote:

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” - Albert Einstein

What happens is that people say, “I need to have metrics. I need to have data.” So you have lots and lots of data, but it can actually be useless types of data. 

It's also critical to understand that metrics and data aren’t enough. A lot of things can’t be counted. You have to go and talk to the customers and understand the market. 

The second problem that we’ve seen a lot is that we start on this journey, we try to identify some type of template or training that’ll help the product organization to identify the metrics that are important. 

But then you start hearing things like, “I’m not sure I trust the data.” “Who’s created this metric?” “What’s the data underneath?” “What does this dashboard show?” So the conversation just continues and we're not taking any action on the data.