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Building Up Technical Skills During an Engineering to Product Transition

Career Path
Prioritization
Product Team

4 February, 2019

Soumen Bhattacharya, group product manager at Castlight Health, lends his advice on the technical skill of collecting appropriate data with efficiency. A necessary skill for all engineers looking to make the switch to product.

Problem

Switching from engineering to product, although feasible, is not always easy. One of those tricky parts is understanding the technical aspects of both finding and analyzing helpful data to push your product along.

Actions taken

  • Explore the problem your product is trying to solve and discover what data can support that. Do so, by asking the right questions before setting out on a data search. What problem am I trying to solve? Who am I solving it for? Why is it important today? What data currently exists and at what volume?
  • Prioritize the data you have collected and decide whether or not it is worth solving. This will lead you to all the necessary meetings you will need to have with other teams.
  • Recognize what success metric you have and the type of data you should be capturing to make sure this is attainable. You need to be able to monitor and access it at any point as a product manager.

Lessons learned

  • When you decide what questions to ask in order to solve problems, you will start realizing what type of specific data you'll need to search for.
  • You will have limited resources so you need to find the most important problem worth solving from the data that you have collected.
  • Your success metric should always be data-driven.

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