The management of a product requires multiple resources and capabilities. These capabilities differ by industry, company culture, and product types.
Not every company has a product manager — some companies manage their teams with product owners or project managers instead. These companies may have a mature product and just add new project-typed features to the main one. In products with high competition, product marketing managers and product analysts hold a lot of value because it is necessary to do research.
In this article, we will talk about the product analyst role, skills, and responsibilities. We will discuss the skills you need and how organizations can efficiently use product analysts for their product.
A product analyst is a product manager’s arm in a red ocean (a market with high competition). They are masters of analyzing market needs and helping product managers create a go-to-market strategy.
Product managers are mostly active in product vision, roadmap, and delivering the features for the product. A product analyst, by contrast, researches the market and collects data to give to product managers. The PMs can then plan the product capabilities according to market needs. Product analysts and PMs work side by side to deliver the right product to the right customer base and marketplace.
Product analysts play a critical role in pushing the boundaries of the target market and customer segments. A product plan will be created with the help of a product analyst to improve the product and increase profit.
A product analyst is an inclusive role. With the data these analysts provide, an organization can create marketing, design, product plans, and product pricing. Because of this, product analysts don’t only work with product managers, but also with sales and marketing teams.
Now, when recruiting a product analyst, we need to be careful. Roles, skills, and responsibilities can be completely different for each product. I have quite a lot of experience with changing companies and products over and over 🥲
It was challenging to adapt to each product and industry but I learned a lot. I focused on things like increasing daily active users, sending marketing emails, and creating mobile marketing strategies. The management and the techniques I used were completely different for each product and industry I worked in, so it’s important to be clear about what you need from the product analyst.
Let’s take a look at a typical job description and key responsibilities for a product analyst first. Then, I will continue explaining the boundaries and details of the description case by case in other sections.
This is a typical job description for a product analyst role:
“We are looking for a product analyst to join our team and help us to create better product strategies. Primarily responsible for using quantitative and qualitative analysis to drive product development and improvement, the product analyst will work closely with product managers, data scientists, engineers, and other stakeholders to optimize product performance, identify trends, and make data-driven recommendations.
As a product analyst, you should be motivated, data-oriented, and team players. You should be able to collect customer feedback, market data, and product insights to create recommendations for product go-to-market plans.”
Though responsibilities may shift according to the company and product, these are the most common responsibilities for any product analyst:
These requirements are just an example, so don’t take these to heart. This is what I’ve commonly seen, but I encourage you to apply to product analyst jobs even if you don’t meet all of these example criteria:
If you are a person who lives and thinks with data, you have almost everything 👏
The most important skill expected from this job is analytical thinking. Presentation and communication skills can come afterward. The reports you create should have your ideas and options for other stakeholders to select within. You should be the person who comes up with results.
As you will analyze lots of data and multiple products, you should have excellent time management skills (which can be learned as well 🙂).
For the qualifications part, you should at least know data software, such as Microsoft Office products. Some companies may expect you to have analyst certifications — you can check Product School, Mixpanel, Kellogg School of Management, and The Product Folks websites for these.
Organizations with multiple products and markets with different competitors should hire a product analyst. It’s vital to have a team member dedicated to reviewing competitors, market trends, and product metrics continuously to guide decisions. Product analysts can work with multiple teams at the same time. They can share quantitative product data that will help place the product inside the market and increase profit.
Product analysts can also exist in a separate team within the organization so they can stay unbiased and look from a wider perspective. As the example job requirements point out, they should have strong analytical thinking capabilities. With the reviewed market data, the business can expect them to provide ideas on which product to produce or simply create go-to-market plans based on priorities.
Organizations that produce lots of products or compete with strong competitors should consider hiring a product analyst, as it’s beneficial to have someone who focuses on the numbers and informs the organization based on that data.
Many people confuse product analysts with business analysts. The two roles have different roles and responsibilities along with their own qualifications and skills.
A business analyst is a person who represents the company to the customers. They collect customer requirements and help to define actions, requirements, and designs. They are responsible for bridging stakeholders and understanding their struggles.
A business analyst often does not have to analyze the market, offer a new market, or product idea and analyze the product data. Yes, both are analysts of the product and have a common goal to improve the product.
Lastly, both of them can be placed inside the product team structure to feed them with data, information, and ideas. They can work closely to increase product metrics and help the product team with long-term decisions.
Companies tend to mix needs into one role when it comes to product management. As a candidate or recruiter, you should be aware of what you are looking for.
Only under the right conditions and light can you shine, do not force yourselves otherwise. Seek and find the correct job that fits your skill set. I hope you all find the right job that makes you happy 🤗
Featured image source: IconScout
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