Data analytics is crucial for product development and innovation.

A survey by Gartner found that 45% of product launches are delayed, with 20% never achieving internal targets.

No one would dispute that data analytics are critical to areas such as a business’s operations, reporting, marketing and personalization tactics, and positioning. However, less attention is given to how data can power a company’s R&D and innovation. 

To avoid development issues or complete failure, companies should use their data to optimize production, allocate resources properly, and ensure innovation to maintain a competitive advantage. 

Here are five key ways by which data analytics can assist in successful product development:

  1. Where is your money going? Just as you can use data to track the financials of employees and operations, product data can show you exactly where your money is being spent over the course of a product’s development lifetime. Track financials to pinpoint areas where resources are being allocated and assess whether money is being spent effectively.
  2. Is your product roadmap achievable? Constantly track spending and Target-vs-Actual metrics to ensure your product roadmap is achievable and improve areas to finish successfully. A flawed product roadmap is a recipe for disaster in product development. You must be able to meet deadlines to avoid missing customer trends, ensure your company’s entire budget is preserved, and remain accountable to stakeholders. Your data will provide the most actionable insights when you are constantly tracking things such as month-over-month spending and Target-vs-Actual metrics. If you ever fall behind on your roadmap, using your data to forecast ahead can allow you to assess whether or not the project is worth pursuing, and which areas must be improved to finish successfully.
  3. Which products will have the greatest ROI? Identify trends within your product lines to make decisions about product development cycles, practices that optimize commercialization, and high-level correlations between development cycles and customer satisfaction. Using data from previous product development cycles, you can identify trends within your product lines that have been commercialized to make decisions about:
    1. How a similar product’s development cycle timeline will play out
    2. Practices that optimize commercialization; and ultimately
    3. High-level correlations between your development cycle and customer satisfaction

Putting your data to use in this way will fuel commercialization by trimming the fat. All of this data should be easily accessible as it will likely already be utilized by marketing and operations.

  1.  Are you getting the most out of product testing? Organize, clean, and report product testing data correctly to prevent development issues or unforeseen product malfunctions. Product testing will naturally develop a large amount of information. Ensuring that this data is organized, cleaned, and reported correctly is essential so that the product is represented properly. Failure to do so could result in development issues or unforeseen product malfunctions. It is critical to ensure that the data analysis for your testing is efficient, intuitive, and comprehensive. Getting the most out of your product testing will ensure that preventable mistakes are always identified before it’s too late.
  2. What are the ways by which you can innovate? A crucial element of product development is, of course, innovation. Data from active product lines can provide you with the insights necessary to accomplish innovation and maintain a competitive advantage. Use customer research and financial analysis to identify desirable features, redundant or inefficient features, and missing features in the current product line, and to gain insight into the timeline when entering or innovating within a market.

In conclusion, data analytics is one of the most effective ways by which you can ensure your product reaches the end of its development cycle and, eventually, reaches the market. Your data can help you optimize production, minimize mistakes and downtime, allocate resources properly, and ensure innovation to maintain your competitive advantage.