In general, SaaS products make life easier, improve productivity, and minimize wastage of time and resources. However, they can be effective only if they are based on information collected from all stakeholders and from customers.

Organizations should focus on customer needs from the product conceptualization phase itself. This will help them to easily adapt their priorities to boost user experience and meet customer expectations. To develop better products, they must collect extensive and accurate user data.

Data Collection

In simple terms, data-driven product strategy is using data to be customer-centric. It helps organizations make better decisions regarding products. The following are the steps using which they can collect data.

Identify customer needs

Organizations gather a lot of data through various interactions with customers. If they categorize and analyze it well, they would know exactly what their customers expect from their products. Armed with this knowledge, they should initiate conversations with customers.

One-to-one conversations will help organizations gather customer feedback much easier than phone calls or emails. This gives them insights into customers' needs and problems, and how they can improve their products to address them. These conversations also establish their reputation as being user-oriented.

Improve customer and user experiences

When customer needs are the base of product strategy, efforts and budget, organizations will be able to provide great customer experiences. Although growth and profitability are their ultimate goals, they can achieve this only by creating great customer experiences.

Organizations should understand the aspect of their interactions that makes their customers return to them. They should find the product features that are enjoyable and inspire brand loyalty in users. New technology can help them do both. Customer retention and growth are sure to grow as customer and user experiences get better.

Infuse insights into product development

Organizations should use the data they gather and the insights they derive from them during product conceptualization. This will help infuse their products with all the features that provide value to customers. The following are some ways in which they can incorporate insights from the data into their product development.

Understand the power of big data:Organizations must rethink what big data means to them. For example, they receive the nontraditional, unstructured data generated by social media. They also collect the structured data streaming in from sensors, tracked processes, and external sources, such as demographics or weather forecasts.

All this data might be large, diverse and messy. However, organizations should view it from both panoramic and granular perspectives. This would help them to be clear about their strategy, operations, and customer experiences.

Get personal:Organizations need to understand customers and deliver their products exactly where and when users need them. This means quickly identifying and using the appropriate data related to individual customers. Advanced technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI), and the latest analytics models can help in doing so.

Jump a step ahead:Big data can be of use not only to anticipate customer needs but also to provide new or unexpected value. When analyzed, it will enable organizations to improve because they would be aware of the problems and opportunities they should address. They can take a more comprehensive look at the data they already have or source data more creatively.

Information, along with the technology for managing and analyzing it, will continue to grow and change. It will also yield new opportunities. Organizations should start targeted efforts to source data and build models. They should ensure that all stakeholders are on board with these changes. As they learn how to gather, analyze and use data, they would see a marked improvement in their growth.

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