Analytics for Product Managers: 5 Talks That’ll Make You Fall in Love With Data

Imagine going back to college (no need to pack the red solo cups, it’s different this time!) and every single class you go to is led by a seasoned Product Leader. They work at some of the coolest companies on Earth, shipping products used by millions every day. There’s no need to pick a major, you get to dip in and out of whichever class you like, at your leisure.

That’s basically what our YouTube channel is like!

Since this month we’re talking about all things data analytics for Product people, we’ve picked out some of our favorite talks on the subject. We kick off with an inspirational talk from Heap on how data can spark joy. You’ll then learn how non-technical PMs can be data-driven by from and then Nike and Microsoft will tell you all about data-driven roadmaps and culture. We’ll finish off with a lesson from Google on how to leverage data for product decisions.

The best part? You don’t need to trek to a campus at 9am after pulling an all-nighter. You can learn at your leisure and build your data skills from anywhere!

Boring but important disclaimer: The content of these talks is for educational purposes only. The opinions expressed are solely those of the presenters based on personal experiences and do not reflect those of the companies the presenters work for.

1. Data that Sparks Joy by Heap Analytics Senior Product Manager

What’s it about?

This talk by Heap’s Senior Product Manager, Milene Darnis, is about taking a Marie Kondo approach to your metrics, and figuring out what really sparks joy in your analytics. By re-thinking your approach to which metrics you value and which you can toss out, you’ll have a stronger data set that you can absolutely fall in love with, and leverage for better product decisions.

Who should watch?

This talk is for absolutely anyone who suspects that they’re not quite using data in the right way, or that they’re not valuing the right things.

Main takeaways

Choose objective-oriented metrics over vanity metrics, build a better organizational structure, and toss any metrics that don’t spark joy (you’ll have to watch the talk to find out which ones those are!)

2. Being a Data PM (Without Writing a Line of SQL) by Facebook Product Manager

What’s it about?

Data doesn’t have to be difficult. If you’re not a Data Analyst and you don’t know anything about SQL or Python, you can still be an amazing data-driven Product Manager. This talk by Facebook Product Manager, Maliena Guy, shows you how to keep data analysis simple, and how to use your analytics to make product decisions without having to deep dive and think like a data analyst.

Download the slides here

Who should watch?

The goal of this talk is to empower non-technical PMs, and aspiring PMs without a background in data, to become more data-driven. If you’re not feeling confident enough with data to leverage it properly, this talk is for you!

Main takeaways

Being a data-driven PM is not about knowing how to pull data. It’s not about writing queries or understanding schema structures. It’s about knowing what data is important to answer the questions help you to build the best product for the customer.

3. Webinar: How to Build Data Driven Roadmaps by Nike Sr Global PM

What’s it about?

Nike’s Senior Global Product Manager, Sushma Rao, explains how you can (and should) use data to build your product roadmap. She’ll go through the Agile mindset and why it’s important to define metrics early. You’ll also learn how to evaluate desirability, viability, and feasibility.

Who should watch?

If you’re in the process of building your product roadmap, and trying to prioritize a whole bunch of things, this talk can help provide clarity. By looking to the data to make roadmap prioritization decisions, you’ll end up with something that everyone can get behind, and something that’ll build the best product for your customers.

Main takeaways

A roadmap isn’t just a list of things you need to do. You can use the roadmap to lead, coach, guide, and inspire. And a data-driven roadmap is the best way to do all of that.

4. Building a Data Driven Culture by Microsoft Senior Manager

What’s it about?

In industries where competition is fierce, you really need to reimagine and do things differently. For that to happen, it’s not enough to just look at the data. You need to look at the right data. You need to run the right tests. This talk from #ProductCon by Microsoft’s Senior Manager, Ria Sankar, shows you that not all data is created equal, and by embedding it into your culture you can revolutionize, disrupt, and innovate.

Download the slides here

Who should watch?

If you’re a Product person who works with data, this is the talk for you. So basically that means…every Product person!

Main takeaways

Big data is not always the best data. Sometimes, the more important data are the little tidbits you gather from sitting down with customers and understand what they’re truly looking for and what they truly need.

5. Leverage Data for Product Decisions by Google Product S&O Lead

What’s it about?

Sunny Mehrotra, Google’s Product Strategy & Operations Lead, joins us to talk about how to properly leverage data for making the right product decisions. He goes over data in the life of a PM, the vocabulary that should resonate with every single PM, and why every product should have an Analytics Roadmap.

Who should watch?

This talk is for those who aren’t entirely sure on what role data plays in the life of Product Managers. This talk cuts through the jargon and helps to you understand the essentials.

Main takeaways

At the end of this talk, you’ll have all the building blocks you need to start your data-driven PM journey. From getting to know your Data Org Structure to questioning everything!

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