Popular Data Product Myths

Bigfoot, Loch Ness, Chupacabra. These stories that are so amazing and imagination-grabbing that you’re afraid not to believe them.  Myths are not only prevalent in culture, but in our day-to-day work lives too.

There’s growing pressure to monetize or “productize’ data.  Sometimes it's talked about in mythological terms.  It could be in search of greater ROI on the Big Data investment or adding incremental value to an existing offer, like a complementary analytics offering to your transactional system. 

When it comes to creating a product with data, we’re finding some data product myths that are too far out and need busting.  Below are the most common myths we run across. 

Customers want flexibility not guidance 

Fact: Not really.  While customers may express interest in more data (more metrics, more filters, raw data access, more chart choices, etc.) this is often an indicator of uncertainty not an interest to do more robust analyses.  They could be unsure what exactly to do with the data, so they figure they might as well as ask for all of it.

Our experience suggests that most users want to be guided to their answers. They want the data presented to remove uncertainty -- not raise more questions. Users, particularly non-analytical ones, don’t invest more than a few minutes using data trying to answer their questions.  Investing in user experience and giving the user a clear guided path is the way to go.   

Creating the über-report with lots of filters, a date range selector and the ability to download the report is pretty easy to implement.  However, if customers can’t easily derive value, then they won’t use what you’ve given them and even minimal efforts on a simple report download interface are wasted.  Here's more on flexible reporting here.

No one’s asked for a data product

Fact: While customers may not be asking you for a data product explicitly, they might be saying it indirectly.  It could be masked in phrases to you, your sales or support teams such as:

  • How do I compare to others?
  • How do I compare to the industry average?
  • Can I get more frequent access to my data?
  • Can others in my organization get access?
  • Does a summary version of this data exist for my boss?

Don’t wait for a specific product request, but listen to what they are asking the data to do. Don’t be surprised if there is more than one product identified.

I can’t charge customers for their data

Fact: While your customers do indeed own their data, you can charge for the incremental value added such as industry-specific metrics, customer benchmarks, and recommendations. It's not the data being sold, but the insights, metric, algorithms, display, etc. baked into your solution. Don’t position a data product as easy access to raw data, but rather as a solution that solves a problem.

Monetizing data is only about new revenue

Fact: New revenue streams from existing data is awesome, but there are a bunch of other opportunities too.  Some Juice customers use their data monetization efforts to increase customer loyalty. By giving easy-to-understand data products or apps to customers they can:

  • value existing products more because of increased understanding,
  • see how they compare to others or against industry benchmarks,
  • improve how they’re using the existing product by better understanding their own usage.

Think you’ve run into a data product myth that is more mysterious? Drop us a note at info@juiceanalytics.com or twitter.com/juiceanalytics.

Even better: register for our upcoming webinar to hear some data product success stories to learn how these myths were overcame.