Analytics is a key component that helps you determine whether your product is succeeding or failing, how to improve it further, and the direction it can go. A better understanding of product analytics will give you a competitive advantage in your product space, help you drive decisions and feature prioritization, and get stakeholders to buy into your product goals.
The product analytics books listed below offer a well-rounded perspective of how analytics fit into product development and help you make better data-driven decisions.
1. Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster
by Alistair Croll & Benjamin Yoskovitz
The best way to learn something fast is through experience. Lean Analytics pulls together over thirty case studies to show you how to build and monetize your business. It’s an actionable guidebook that teaches you how to measure and speed up progress.
Many industries, including product management, are moving towards agile frameworks and quick iterations. Lean analytics provide you with data that’ll help you make improvements that lead to the results you want.
2. The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail—but Some Don’t
by Nate Silver
Political forecaster Nate Silver is popular for his accurate predictions during the 2008 and 2012 U.S. elections. His book explores the concept of probability and how most of us misunderstand it, leading to unnecessary costs and misguided reactions to noise.
Knowing what is predictable, what isn’t, and how to pinpoint unanticipated commonalities can help you identify what data is useful to you, what metrics to track, and what is irrelevant despite how the numbers look.
3. Product Analytics: Applied Data Science Techniques for Actionable Consumer Insights
by Joanne Rodrigues-Craig
Product Analytics covers predictive data science with a social science perspective. Learn statistical techniques and concepts, what correlation and causation mean, how to model multidimensional systems, what metrics are important and what they mean, and how to create and run tests that provide you with useful data that support your product decisions.
Joanne Rodrigues-Craig is a data scientist and enterprise manager with a background in social sciences. Her book will teach you how to turn numbers into meaningful insights and contextualize user behavior to direct future product goals.
4. Experimentation Works: The Surprising Power of Business Experiments
by Stefan H. Thomke
Experimentation Works focuses on the glue that makes data work for your product. To make improvements that lead to impactful results and scale your product, you’re bound to do some testing. Most successful companies like Amazon and Microsoft run countless experiments to get where they are.
In this book, you’ll learn how to determine what is a good experiment, how to test different business environments, how to lead your team with experimentation as a core value, and ultimately make better decisions for optimization.
5. Data Science for Business: What You Need to Know about Data Mining and Data-Analytic Thinking
by Foster Provost & Tom Fawcett
Data Science for Business is a great starting point to help you learn to think analytically. It uses real-world business examples to explain data-mining techniques and how to collect data and make it useful to your business.
This book is based on Provost’s MBA course at New York University. It’s particularly useful if you are looking to apply data-driven decision-making when building products. You can also expect to learn how to look into your competitor’s business strategy and use data to stay ahead.
6. Designing with Data: Improving the User Experience with A/B Testing
by Rochelle King, Elizabeth F. Churchill, & Caitlin Tan
Design errors can cost millions of dollars! To avoid making these mistakes, you should understand your user’s behavior and needs. One way to do this is to look at user data and enhance your design based on this information.
Designing with Data emphasizes the use of A/B testing to create UX/UI that works best for your target audience. The book will go through the best methods to conduct A/B tests, how to set expectations, how to incorporate data into your product design workflow, and how to connect your KPIs with your product goals.
7. Now You See It: An Introduction to Visual Data Sensemaking
by Stephen Few
There are many analytics tools you can use to collect data, but data alone is not enough to move the needle. Understanding what the data means is only part of the story. In order to get your stakeholders to buy into your decisions and product goals, you need to get them to understand the data like you do.
Stephen Few’s Now You See It helps you find meaning in data visually and offers practices that will, in turn, help you create graphs and charts that’ll communicate your statistical findings better.
More On Product Analytics
There’s a lot to unpack when it comes to product analytics. A great way to get your feet wet is to find a product analytics tool and click around. Review the data you are collecting and use the books above to help you connect the dots with your product goals.
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