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Data Product Owner: role, missions and skills

What is the role of the Product Owner? In a digital project, the Product Owner (or owner data) is the link between the customer and the product development team. He/she ensures that the product under development perfectly meets the needs and use cases of the end users and generates value. His objective is to maximize […]

Data Product Owner Job Profile - What Does A Data Product Owner Do? | Le  Wagon

What is the role of the Product Owner?

In a digital project, the Product Owner (or owner data) is the link between the customer and the product development team. He/she ensures that the product under development perfectly meets the needs and use cases of the end users and generates value. His objective is to maximize the value of the products created by the team.

To do this, he/she is the privileged contact of the customers, whose needs and expectations he/she gathers. Then he/she lists, selects and prioritizes the functionalities to be developed. Finally, he/she makes the link between the practical needs of the customers and the technical development of the product.

In this context, his or her functions are partly similar to those of a project manager: he or she supervises development and ensures that the development of the product’s features corresponds to the customer’s needs.

The Product Owner is involved throughout the project and must :

Define the vision in agreement with the project stakeholders and communicate it to the teams through the product roadmap

Understand and, if necessary, anticipate the customer’s needs

Be in charge of the backlog, the list of tasks to be completed by the team

Prioritize the needs

Supervise the different stages of development

Measure the progress of the project

What about data?

The Product Owner must be able to take into account the business challenges of the digital product for which he or she is responsible, but also understand the opportunities and constraints linked to the technology.

Nowadays, a large part of the digital products developed by companies is based on data. Whether it’s a weather forecasting app, for example, or offering complementary products on a department store’s drive-through service, it always involves the intelligent use of data.

Therefore, companies that develop such products need product owners who are trained in data science. This is why the job of Product Owner Data is developing. They work hand in hand with the Data Science team to transform the data into relevant product uses and features for the customer.

The missions of the Data Product Owner

The role of Product Owner (owner data) originates from agile product development methodologies, in particular the SCRUM method. He or she intervenes in the various phases of product development. The Data Product Owner will act as a liaison between the customer’s needs and the internal Data Science team.

His first mission is to write the user stories. To do this, he or she leads workshops with the client and/or end users in order to understand their precise expectations. He draws the user path and prepares its translation into clear functional specifications, which will be transmitted to the development team.

Once the customer’s needs have been collected and formalized, the Data Product Owner defines the product roadmap with the Big Data team. This implies that he/she questions the available and relevant data with regard to the client’s objectives.

Then he prioritizes and plans the user stories, in coordination with the customer and the data team. Finally, he/she manages the project by defining and monitoring performance indicators in line with the client’s objectives. He also ensures communication between the stakeholders throughout the project.

What is the profile for this job?

The Data Product Owner has a hybrid profile, combining an understanding of the business and business issues with a mastery of Data Science.

Since he/she is the link between the client and the data teams, he/she must have solid communication and management skills. Their ability to translate customer needs into product uses and functionalities is at the heart of the project’s success.

Of course, he or she must master the challenges of Big Data. In order to find a solution adapted to the customer’s needs, it is essential that he knows what data is available, and where and how to collect the necessary data. He must also understand the principles and practices of data analysis. It is also essential that they understand the latest advances in Machine Learning to identify potential product applications.

Generally speaking, the Data Product Owner also has a creative profile to imagine functional solutions based on data.

Finally, he or she ideally possesses the qualities expected of a project manager to steer and guide the progress of product development.

About the author

Mamie M. Arndt