Taking data product development to the next stage
The Wall Street Journal - 02/11/2015
There are a lot of alternative product development methodologies that might apply more directly to data products. One of the more recent ones is the “lean startup” approach, created primarily by Eric Ries. Intuit Inc.INTU +0.79%, for example, has embraced both the lean startup idea (see a series of short videos on it here) anddata products, and is beginning to combine the two ideas. The company has a strong focus on experimentation and rapid data-gathering. Intuit has had some successes, but it’s probably too early to declare victory on “lean startup for data products.” However, many of the components of lean startup approaches would fit well with the fast-moving data products lifecycle.
About a decade ago, Mark Meyer and Mike Zack of Northeastern University published what we think was an excellent and before-its-time article in MIT Sloan Management Review called “The Design and Development of Information Products.” That article contained some useful ideas about developing today’s data products, including the creation of a “data refinery” capability, creating “platforms” (capabilities for creating multiple data products) rather than individual offerings, and other ways to add value to information.