31 January 2022

Data-Driven Roadmaps Enable Brands to Go the Distance

Nicholas Mizera, Analytics Lead
Data

Even the best of us gets lost sometimes, which is why it’s wise to always carry a map. 

The same is true for Customer Experience initiatives. The goal of CX is to captivate customers with experiences that delight, and the route to those experiences varies by a company's level of maturity and industry sector. With so many potential twists, turns and pitfalls, you're forgiven for getting lost. 

Product design roadmapping keeps companies on track. This essential portion of the process is an exercise in determining key focus areas and opportunities for your product. 

Here’s more on what product design roadmaps look like and how they can be of immediate use to your company. 

What is roadmapping?

Through data analysis and cross-functional collaboration, product owners and organizations can identify challenges and opportunities. It is critical that the exercise include adequate time to gather and analyze the data in search of consumers’ points of friction. 

The results of this work appear in an easy-to-digest format. The end product is a single view into the priority areas that the product team will focus on during the next year. This acts as a summation of all of the data and insights aggregated during the data gathering phase. Don't forget to include support documentation that helps tell the story of how data is informing the product team and its initiatives. 

Why are roadmaps important?

Roadmapping allows for organizations to leverage data on past consumer behavior and industry trends. This creates opportunities to improve overall customer experience, leading to deeper relationships, loyalty and higher future consideration. Without it, teams run the risk of alternating between tasks without a larger vision for the problem. 

In addition to benefitting the end consumer experience, roadmapping helps find team members who have the right skillsets and capabilities. They help measure the results of that effort, too, by clearly defining key milestones for reaching business developed goals and KPIs. 

How can you develop one?

The process in creating a data driven roadmap begins with some reflection. Take a step back and identify the data sources you want to leverage for the analysis. Start with the sources you currently have on hand and identify their nuances and pitfalls—and ensure they are communicated across the organization. It helps to designate a centralized location where this data can be stored to ensure larger teams maintain easy access. 

When it comes time to integrate new data sources, start by identifying the most engaged aspects of the product along with its success rate. We recommend laying out this data on an X/Y scatter plot to identify the highest volume-yet-lowest performing aspects. This should be a good indicator of where to start. But if it’s not entirely clear, you can get a lot of mileage out of starting with device splits and consumer origination source. Plot these out to gain a longitudinal view of performance and understand any trends or shifts over time. 

Resist the temptation to skip to the end: Present the issues and opportunities you’ve identified, but without attaching a tactical solve. It feels like progress to propose a resolution, but you risk introducing bias into the outcome before all the pertinent variables have been considered. Instead, move to finding the next biggest opportunity that the data provides. 

Partnering for Success

Teams need to ensure that they have the right skillset to handle all steps of the data journey. This includes collection, normalization, analysis and insight development. After integrating the appropriate analytics partners, insights drive the strategy and narrow the focus for the team in the upcoming design and development stages. When roadmapping, it's critical to ensure that the data and insights that stem from the exercise become the guide for the planning period. Once challenges have been identified and prioritized, the solutioning and development phases can begin. The data becomes actionable and helps deliver the best possible customer experience. 

At Rightpoint, we tirelessly work to ensure our roadmaps are entirely data-driven and fully inform key business decisions. The process starts with a simple conversation—contact Rightpoint today to kick off the process.