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Democratizing Data is Product Management

We characterize data as the voice of our users at scale.”

Jeff Feng, Product Manager at Airbnb, shares how he launched “Data University” to empower employees to make data-informed decisions and how he got over a third of employees to attend a course.


Almost every company is working to use data to make better business and product decisions. The tools and technologies available today provide us with a firehose of data that we can use to better understand what users need and how to build a better user experience.

Airbnb is one of the best at using data science to make decisions. But the company wasn’t always so prolific.

Before Jeff launched Data University, there was a lack of data literacy outside of tech teams and employees weren’t using the data tools that were provided to them. Airbnb had a small team of data scientists to help, but it wasn’t a scalable solution.

Jeff worked to understand the needs of managers and employees and launched Data University, an internal education program for Airbnb employees. It’s grown to over 30 courses taught by over 40 instructors. ⅓ of all employees have attended a course and Airbnb has seen a 2x increase in internal data tool usage.

Many companies start internal universities, but don’t always get the level of attendance they need. In this episode, Jeff shares the grassroots techniques he used to generate interest and empower employees across the organization to make data-informed decisions.

Here are the highlights:

Jeff Feng

Product Manager at Airbnb

Jeff's Recommended Resources on Democratizing Data

What Jeff is Reading and Listening to Right Now

Jeff's Favorite New Product Outside of Work

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