Designing Powerful Data Products

30 May, 2024 •

Data product platorm, DvSum

A Comprehensive Guide to Building Successful Data Products

In today’s data-driven world, the landscape is flooded with data products, but only a few truly succeed in transforming user behavior. These standout products offer significant user value, making them indispensable. To achieve this level of success, a relentless focus on delivering user value is paramount. But first, let’s clarify what a data product is.

Defining Data Products

A data product is any application or feature that utilizes data to achieve a goal. For example, a smartwatch app that tracks health metrics and provides insights based on the data collected is a data product. This contrasts with the concept of data as a product, which involves treating company data with the same rigor as a product—ensuring its security, governance, and trustworthiness.

This article focuses on the former, providing a roadmap to build effective data products that resonate with users.

Step 1: Identify the Problem and Define the Objective

Before diving into development, it’s crucial to validate your product idea. This starts with a clear understanding of the problem you’re solving and the value proposition of your data product.

Conceptualize the Idea

Begin by asking key questions:

  • What value will the user gain from this product?
  • Why would users want it?
  • What will users accomplish with it?
  • What core features are necessary for users to achieve their goals?

Develop user stories to guide your thinking:

  • “I’m a [type of user], and I want to [do something with the product] so that I can .”

This helps ensure that your product meets real user needs and is easy to use.

Conduct Market Research

Understanding the market landscape is vital for developing a successful data product. This involves diving into various online communities, forums, and social media platforms to observe and engage with potential users. By doing so, you can gain insights into the discussions that are happening, identify recurring pain points, and understand the desires and needs of your target audience. This information is crucial for shaping a data product that addresses real problems, meets user expectations effectively, and stands out in a competitive market.

Assess the competition by examining what they do well and where they fall short. Attending meet-ups, hackathons, and other industry events can provide further insights into current trends and user needs.

Gather feedback through surveys and polls to refine your product idea. Ask potential users what they like about your concept and how they would use it.

Step 2: Decide on the Architecture and Framework

With a clear understanding of the problem and user needs, you can move on to designing the data architecture. Let’s consider an example: an app for online share trading aimed at novice traders.

Determine the Data Requirements

To create a feature that allows users to mirror the top 10% of traders, you’ll need:

  • Specific usage data of top traders
  • Anonymized and aggregated data storage
  • An analytics tool for visualizing performance

This helps you define your database schemas, tables, dimensions, and metrics. Additionally, consider the scale of your data and choose a cloud data warehouse that can handle the required processing speed and volume.

Step 3: Design the Data Product

Designing the user interface and experience is critical. The design should be intuitive, making it easy for users to interact with and gain insights from the data.

User-Centric Design

Focus on creating a seamless user experience:

  • Simplify the interface to reduce cognitive load.
  • Ensure that the product’s features are easily accessible.
  • Incorporate visualizations that make data interpretation straightforward.

Performance Optimization

Given the goal of quick data processing, select technologies that support fast data retrieval and analysis. This ensures a smooth user experience, preventing drop-offs due to slow performance.

Step 4: Develop and Test the Product

Once the design is in place, start developing the product. Utilize agile methodologies to iteratively build and refine the product. Conduct thorough testing at each stage to ensure functionality, performance, and user satisfaction.

Step 5: Launch and Iterate

After development and testing, launch the product to a broader audience. Collect user feedback continuously to make necessary improvements. Regular updates based on user input help keep the product relevant and valuable.

Example: Loan Market Group’s MyCRM

Loan Market Group enhanced their flagship product, MyCRM, by integrating an embedded analytics solution from ThoughtSpot. This allowed brokers to answer their own questions through an intuitive, search-based interface, leading to a significant increase in user engagement and satisfaction.


Building a successful data product requires a clear understanding of user needs, a robust data architecture, and an emphasis on performance and user experience. By following these steps, you can create data products that not only stand out but also drive meaningful user engagement and value.

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