How to Build Better Data Products, Part 2: Development

This is the second in a multi-part series on launching successful data products. At Juice, we’ve helped our clients launch dozens of data products that generate new revenue streams, differentiate their solutions in the market, and build stronger customer relationships. Along the way, we’ve learned a lot about what works and doesn’t. In this series I’ll take you through what you need to know to design, build, launch, sell, and support a data product. Read Part 1 of the series here.

If “Data is the Bacon of Business” (TM), then customer reporting is the Wendy’s Baconator. Sure it contains bacon, but nobody is particularly happy with themselves after eating it.

In a recent blog post, we described the differences between customer reporting and data products. Those differences result in some very different functionality requirements. In particular, data products require more C.L.I.C. D.R.A.G.

  • Context — Benchmarks, comparisons, trends, and/or goals that encourage decision making.
  • Learn — Help and support features to train users to get value from the information.
  • Integration — Connections with other software systems to integrate with data and enable operational actions.
  • Collaboration — The ability to save insights and communicate them with other people. Decisions aren’t made on an island.
  • Documentation — Because data products live on and touch many people within your organization.
  • Reporting — To track usage of the data product.
  • Administration — Features to manage users and control permissions.
  • Guidance — To point users to the most effective ways to explore and understand the data.

This collection of capabilities gives some indication of the gap between your standard customer-facing reporting and a complete data product. To accomplish all of these, you’ll need more than a talented BI report writer and access to your database. In our experience, the recipe for building a successful data product is dependent on a number of specialized roles.

Product Manager

The Product Manager sets the vision of the product. He gathers the necessary resources to make the team successful, and builds organizational support for the product.


UI/UX Designer

The UI/UX Designer understands the user’s workflow and how to best guide the user to decisions. She crafts the interface and interactions to make the data intuitive. She's also in charge of design application styling and all visual elements.

Business Analyst

The Business Analyst translates application design into technical and data requirements. She's responsible for documenting business logic as product decisions are made.


Front-end Application Developer

The Front-end Application Developer's role is all about building interface elements, interactions, and data visualizations.

Back-end Application Developer

Data Guru

The Back-end Application Developer does everything the Front-end Developer does, only backwards. Just kidding! But he does build the application server environment an define data queries to support UI interactions.

Data Scientist

In addition to having the coolest title, he provides access to raw data sources. He understands and communicates the meaning of data fields and calculations to the development team.

Technical Architect

The Data Scientist defines the questions that will help end-users make better decisions. She enhances data through predictive modeling and other advanced data analytics techniques.

Quality Assurance Engineer

He's the general technical architecture of the product, responsible for figuring out how the application connects to data sources and integrates into other systems.

The Quality Assurance Engineer evaluates whether the data product meets the need and requirements set out in the design process. He also tests data accuracy and product functionality.

It's a big load. That’s why you might want some help before going at it alone. At Juice, we've built a technology solution and an expert team that fills out many of these requirements. We have a set of visualization components and interactive features that ensures your application is a first-class user experience. Combined with our experienced design and implementation teams, we’ve got many of the resources covered. Our clients bring the product vision; we make it happen.

Our goal at Juice is to streamline the data product launch process so you can launch innovative data products in weeks, not months. Want to know more? Let us give you a demo.