What is a Data Product Manager? Role & Challenges

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data product manager

What is a Data Product Manager?

A data product manager is a specialized product management role that focuses on all the data-driven factors. It aligns the strategies with data flow, data research, and data analysis.

Data product manager’s role is similar to other product managers, but the key difference is that it focuses on all the data-related items of the product life cycle.

Data product manager’s work is associated with data science and analysis.

Data PM is most often required in the field of data-driven analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, supply chain management, and so on.

Data-driven product management is a fundamental part of SaaS business management. 

Role of a Data Product Manager 

Data product manager plays a key role in the alignment of strategies, business administration, and efficient utilization of data.

It acts as a link between all the departments that are data-dependent. 

Data product manager leverages the data flow throughout the product life cycle. 

Data PM supervises the workflow of Data Scientists, Data Engineers, Data Analysts, Data Architects and developers, and testers.

Thus, a data PM must have significant knowledge of all these departments and their work. 

Data PMs have to devise innovative methods to handle, extract and exploit data for better usability and vital information.  

Challenges faced by a Data Product Manager 

The manager should possess good knowledge or experience in data science and analytics. 

To examine and deliver data solutions only where it suits the purpose or to not over-exploit data solutions in all cases or problems of product management. 

Complex and more time consuming development process for data science teams. The discovery, collection and cleaning of data take a very long time.

A product manager has to tackle this and work out time-saving methods. 

Benefits of having a Data Product Manager 

A data product manager’s work is to compile and extract information from the fetched data.

This information or insight is valuable to all the different departments of product development.

A specific department needs to examine a specific data report to enhance particular aspects of the product. 

In the following ways a data product manager and data management is beneficial to the product development process: 

  • All the departments of product development make use of data analytics and benefit from the data-based solutions on user behavior, likes or dislikes, user needs, and other user data-related issues faced by product teams.
  • A data product manager studies and manages all the data in a way that only meaningful and relevant information is extracted and provided to concerned departments.
  • Teams take advantage of the real-time data sources to upgrade the interfacing and functionality to deliver a more advanced user experience and product value.
  • Data product management fuses data analysis with the product development process. So at all levels of the product development cycle data is used, such as designing, feature up-gradation, user interface, user experience, and so on.
  • The most vital use or benefit of data and data management is that it helps to eliminate the guesswork in any field. Data supports estimation. With the help of real-time data-driven insights, the product design can reach the user expectations levels. Designers can estimate from the given data, what the users want.  


What does a data product manager do?

Data product manager works on alignment of strategies, business administration and product development with data. It acts as a link between all the departments that are data dependent. 

Data product manager has to sort, eliminate and organize data so that relevant and useful information can be extracted from it.

What is the importance of data in product management?

For the product designing phase, customer data reports are studied to get knowledge of customer’s needs, expectations, and problems. Organised data on the user feedback is vital in product improvement and upgradation. Data also helps in business administration and marketing, it tells about what type of promotional campaign the potential customers will connect with. Data on sales based on customer’s location, age, gender, income group helps in making targeted marketing and sales strategies.

What is the difference between product manager and data product manager?

A data product manager’s work is based on all the data related components of the product life cycle. Role of a data product manager is the fusion of roles of product manager and data analyst. Data product manager aligns the functions of product manager with data management.

What kind of businesses require a data product manager?

In businesses or organisations that involve predictive data, science products like those related to analytics, supply chain management, artificial intelligence, machine learning, crime detection, etc.

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