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Mastering Quantitative Research is Product Management

Suhail Doshi, CEO of Mixpanel, shares best practices for using in-product analytics to make better product decisions, how to balance vision with data-driven decision making.

As the discipline of product management has advanced in recent years, so too have the strategies, tactics and tools for conducting user research. Product managers have the potential to access more data to make decisions than ever before.

One critical tool that modern product managers need to have in their tool kit is quantitative research. In other words, using in-product analytics to analyze user behavior and find opportunities to improve the experience.

Since Suhail is the CEO Mixpanel, one of the most advanced in-product analytics solutions on the market, he was the perfect guest to ask about the latest best practices.

He began by sharing his perspective on how to balance data with intuition when making decisions. Intuition helps you come up with hypotheses about how something could work, and data helps you measure whether the experiments you’re running are working, Suhail says. He warns listeners of the downsides failing to find balance between the two. If you over-optimize for hitting KPIs, you might create a poor user experience. If you over-rely on intuition, your success is dependent on luck.

Suhail then provides several strategies for making better decisions using in-product analytics. I particularly liked his strategy of using a paired metric to measure the success of experiments. Measuring success based on two metrics, instead of just one, hinders you from hitting one metric at the expense of another.

Suhail also acknowledges that data doesn’t always speak perfect truth, and encourages listeners to simply ship features and analyze the results when there isn’t much downside risk.

You’ll learn a lot from this episode about analytics, experimentation, and data-driven decision making.

Here are the highlights:

Suhail Doshi

CEO of Mixpanel

Suhail's Recommended Resources on Mastering Quantitative Research

What Suhail is Reading and Listening To Right Now

Suhail's Favorite New Product Outside of Work

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