Why Product Management for Data Science Provides Better Results for Companies ?
For data science projects to provide value for a business, hiring the right personnel to ensure business needs are being met is the best way to ensure success. But is product management for data science really necessary? Is that the best path for results?
To better understand how this works, we’ll need to look at what role product management can play in data science and the distinct differences between a product manager and a data scientist.
How Product Management for Data Science Can Be Useful To a Business
While your average person today is able to browse the internet and use their computers for specific tasks relevant to their job, not many know a lot of technical information. Data sciencetists frequently help businesses find solutions to their problems through data science.
Going one step further and having product management for data science can make a huge difference in the success of data science projects for a business.
For example, perhaps the leader of a business has recognized a problem. Though they do not personally have a deep understanding of technology, they surmise that the solution could be determined through data science. They contact their team of data scientists and give them a brief overview of what they’re after.
There are a few ways this can lead to failure right from the beginning, most of it due to a communication issue. It’s a common problem in this situation for the team to get to work without fully understanding the scope of what the business leader wanted. They may not understand all the details of what the business problem is so they don’t know all the needs their solution needs to meet.
In this situation, a data science product manager could ask the right questions to better understand the needs of the business. In this way, they can set the right expectations for what the business can expect from a solution, even if the answer is to not take on a project doomed to fail.
In any business, failure qill frequently come from one of two sources: a failure of the processes employed, or having the right personnel. By employing product management for data science, businesses put the right people in place to ensure greater results from their projects.
Qualities Of a Great Data Science Project Manager
A great product manager understands business.
- They are focused on the needs of the business they work with.
- They know how to communicate with different people in different roles.
- They are well organized.
- These may all sound like the traits of a great data scienctist, which may make you wonder if a product manager needs to study as a data scientist first.
While a data scientist could certainly become a great product manager for data scientists, and there is much overlap between these roles, a product manager is distinct. Both need to be able to clearly communicate their ideas. Both need to have some understanding of the technical aspects of a product.
However, a data scientist is going to be focused on the metrics of the project. They are curious and seeking different ways to reach an end goal.
That end goal is best defined by the product manager, who better understands the scope of the business needs. The product manager for data science projects is focused on the greater success the end product will have once its completed, while a data scientist is focused on the work needed to reach that stage.
Should a product manager for data science then have an understanding of data science? While it is not necessary to have a role in product management for data science, some technical knowledge would make the product manager better at their job. With a better understanding of what is capable with data science, and the terms used by a team of data scientists, a product manager will be much more successful.
An educated project management professional will also have taken courses in product management. In such a rapidly changing field, their education is a continuous part of their jobs; there is always more for them to be learning. A studious mind would be a great advantage in this role.
With product management courses supporting their role in understanding the business needs, and data science classes deepending their understanding of what could be possible for a data science team to achieve, product management for data science becomes about meeting these two needs for the greatest level of success for a business.