A golden rule of product management is to focus on what your customers want to achieve, instead of the features or tools they’re requesting. It’s no different when it comes to embedded analytics—product managers need to think about what users really want from their dashboards and reports. While your users may be attracted to the “eye candy” of dashboards, you need to focus on the job your customer is trying to do.
Whether you’re adding new analytics capabilities to your product or another feature entirely, you need to consider many of the same steps and roadblocks.
We interviewed product experts about how to manage feature requests and changing user requirements.
1. Behind every tool or feature request you receive is a customer job to be done.
It’s a task they are trying to accomplish but unfortunately, they may not be able to clearly communicate that to you. It’s your responsibility to get to the job behind that feature request, determine if it’s a mutually beneficial feature to build and then turn that learning into action.
2. Spend time observing users and understanding their ultimate goals.
Don’t just ask what they want to see. Figure out what they’re trying to do, and then build things that help them do it.
3. Think about your total work in terms of pie.
Every new feature that goes in there is taking up a slice of the pie. But you’ll also need slices left over for validation, discovery and iteration, so don’t cram your roadmap full of features.
4. Remember that the customer is the one buying and using the product.
Understand who the customer is and what problems she’s trying to solve or jobs she’s trying to do.
5. Stay ahead of changing user requirements by building in time for validation and learning.
The best product teams make room for learning, and make structured validation a key part of their process, rather than an afterthought.
Want to know what it takes to build an application with analytics at its core? Download The Essential Guide to Building Analytic Applications and hear from 16 experts across business intelligence, UI/UX, security, and more >