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Product

How Periscope Uses Periscope for Product Management

Product managers have a lot of decisions to make. It’s a position that regularly touches plenty of other internal functions, but ultimately is responsible for pulling together all of the pieces from multiple sources and coming to a final decision about a product. Those choices have long-lasting impacts that extend beyond a product, into the bigger picture of a business and its customers. In order to make the best decisions, it’s imperative that a product manager has access to the right data at the right time, organized in a way that focuses on the most important pieces.

Periscope is a data company, so we tend to rely pretty heavily on data to make the best product management decisions. When it comes to my dashboards, I rely mostly on quantitative data to provide summaries of large datasets, but there are also plenty of other ways I use qualitative information. I personally come from an analytical background, so when I make product decisions at Periscope, I use data for everything. There are three general types of Periscope dashboards that I use to make decisions as a product manager, here’s a quick rundown of each:

1) Ongoing KPI monitoring — The goals of a product manager are the same as the goals of the entire company: retain current customers, attract new ones, increase product usage, etc. It’s vital to a product manager to keep an eye on the top-level business metrics. At Periscope Data, this data comes from Salesforce (sales data), our production database (user activity data) and our team of analysts (custom-created enhanced metrics). This type of monitoring always looks at aggregate numbers rather than any specific drilldown or segmentation; the goal is to view whole product and the whole user base to keep a pulse on the way they move together.

Every day I get an email from the Periscope Data platform that delivers these dashboards. I can usually get all of the information I need from that email, with the option to click into the dashboards to dig deeper when something looks out of place. When I scan those dashboards, I’m looking for any numbers that stand out as unexpected.

2) Specific feature tracking — A lot of the hard work of product management goes into the building, launching and optimizing features that address/solve specific use cases of our customers. To do that well, I need to create dashboards that track features starting at high-level adoption and drilling down to the actions of individual companies and users.

At Periscope, we put a lot of importance on using the data team to ensure that data is being treated properly and producing the best insights. When we launched Data Discovery for Business a few months ago, I worked with our data team to build a dashboard to tell me everything about the adoption of that new feature: which customers were using it, how many individual users, how many charts were they creating, what types of charts they were creating, what job functions were using the new feature the most. I track all of it, right down to the nitty gritty. To create these dashboards, I meet with the data team and discuss what questions I need answered. I can type SQL to create charts on my own, however, to avoid the pitfalls of data, I need help from our analytics experts.

Like the first use case, I get daily emails that present these reports, but in this case, those emails are just the start of my exploration. I usually see those reports come in and instantly click into the Periscope Data platform to start getting more information. I can hover over any part of the charts or open them to get more information. It’s vital to product management that we keep thinking of new questions and monitoring progress on a granular level to ensure success.

3) Specific questions and one-off requests — Like any other function at a company, product management work is very rarely contained to a limited range of tasks; I collaborate with a lot of different teams and I need a way to manage one-off requests efficiently. Sometimes that means sorting the customer base in a certain way to identify a specific customer or set of customers for a beta test. I might need data to answer a specific question about a feature that wouldn't otherwise be a part of the regular monitoring. The range of questions that need to be answered is unlimited, so I need a way to build answers and track their status.

For example, Periscope Data recently released a backend update that would hit our base of customers in phases. To determine those phases, I needed to combine information about their size, tier, health score, payment plans and more. There was no way I could have proactively prepared for this segmentation, but when the request is made, I need to be able to work with my data team to create a dashboard like this quickly and accurately.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Periscope can help with your product management data, request a contact and one of our experts will reach out to you soon.

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Rya Sciban
Rya moved to SF lured with the promise of lots of data. At Periscope Data, she turns her inquisitive mind towards product management and making Periscope the analytics tool of the future.