Tuesday, July 28, 2009

call for input: the cost of knowing

Hey team - I'm writing an article on a topic of Great Importance to the #prodmgmt community.

No, it's not "Bars with Free Food during Happy Hour" or "Sure-Fire Pick Up Lines for the SDCC Cosplay Show".

I'm writing about the cost of knowing.

"What the &$^$ does that mean? It sounds vaguely 'biblical' and that's unlike you to be so crass."

That's nice of you, thanks. Let me explain.

Product managers rely on all kinds of information to do their jobs. Some of that information comes easily - unit volume, sales reports, support call volume, number of downloads. All of you SaaS cats have it especially easy. You know who you are.

Some is a bit less easy to get your hands on - sales funnel metrics, operating margins, cost of goods.

And some doesn't come easily at all - focus groups, market segment research, competitive sales data.

What I'm exploring are the challenges associated with trying to justify laying your hands on hard-to-get data, and what the follow-on challenges are once you get it.

Because if you have to justify a spend to get data, you're going to have to show that you managed to get value from it.

One of my arguments is that #prodmgmt lives without data it really shouldn't do without. It justifies "not having" this data because it's "too expensive" or "we wouldn't know how to use it".

"That's swell, Bob. Sounds like an interesting article. I've got some toast I'm working on, so unless you've got something you need. . ."

Here's my ask - if you could reduce the cost of acquiring it, what sorts of data would you, my dear reader, wish you could get your trembly mitts on?

Dream big. I want to know what you don't have that you wish you did have. It's that simple.

Thanks for the input.

1 comment:

Matthew Bowe said...

Usage data. Real life application heat maps (for non-web apps).

Great question!

Matthew Bowe