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Understanding your product data & PDM

ProfitWell Aug 21 2021

Companies today require great precision and agility. The winning approach is to laser-target a specific market and respond to its demands quickly before your competitors wake up from their slumber. But this dream is possible only if you work with data. There's no escape here. 

As the digital era continues to drive high demands, you need to embrace data-driven product management. That's where a robust Product Data Management steps in to facilitate agile and precise decisions. 


What is product data?

Product data is the information about a product that you can leverage to facilitate your business decisions and growth. You can read, measure, and structure this info into a usable format. 

From the law point of view, we're talking about the standard schedules, illustrations, brochures, instructions, performance charts, and other information that the contractor furnishes to illustrate equipment or materials for some portion of the work. 

Since no two products can ever be the same, treating the data and product as two separate items is prudent.

What is product data used for?

When building a data-driven product, product data is crucial in:

Performing A/B tests

If you're looking to gather data to develop a new product feature that checks all the boxes, you'll need to conduct A/B testing. Yes, your instincts as a product manager may be incredible. But you cannot trust them entirely to determine if a particular feature will work. 

When A/B testing, be sure to avoid falling into common pitfalls. For proper handling of data, ensure you've determined:

  • The right questions to ask
  • The type of data you desire to gather
  • The intended purpose of the data you gathered

The question could be a simple "which color of the button attracted more clicks—red or blue?" Or, "Will this homepage layout entice more visitors to complete the onboarding process?" The test can be more complex. It all depends on your product.

Defining KPIs/OKRs

As a product manager, you need to set robust Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), and align them with your organization's business goals. That's where data steps in to help you translate these targets into your own. 

For instance, your organization plans to spread its wings and establish its presence in a mushrooming market. How can you translate this goal into your own? You need to know the metrics that will help you measure your product's success in the new target audience. 

Tracking how people use your product

Maybe you want people to use a specific feature or complete a process (such as onboarding) in your product. How many users are using feature A compared to B? How many complete the entire onboarding journey? 

Improving product features and support

Users need a listening ear before they commit themselves to your product further. With a data-driven approach, you can identify those features and areas that are failing, make the necessary changes, and maintain a low churn rate.  

What is product data management (PDM), and why it is important

A Product Data Management (PDM) is a process that helps your organization gather, organize, store, and share data within itself. This process comes under the larger umbrella of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). Software engineers usually associate it with version control. 

Defining a sales/marketing strategy

A PDM is crucial in identifying market opportunities to ensure your product wins. With a proper PDM, you can unearth the current trends and understand the market deeply to ensure your sales and marketing strategies are on top of the game. The success of your product launch also depends on it. 

Managing product inventory

PDM helps you track and manage the creation, change, archival, and retrieval of all data related to a product on file servers. It acts as a central repository of the product's history. That way, all members interacting with the product can exchange its data seamlessly to facilitate development. 

Setting up competitive pricing strategy

You'll need to set the right price that will leave you with enough profit after taking care of costs. With PDM, it's easy to track all the costs involved during the product development process. 

Perfecting the next-generation product & faster product-development 

Innovation thrives best when communication and collaboration within the organization are seamless. PDM allows fast adoption of insights and feedback from various professionals during the product development process. Also, as customers use the final product, product managers can consider their input to enhance continuous iteration for a better next-generation product.

Benefits of using PDM software

With a Product Data Management software, all members can easily access data, boosting your whole team's productivity. The system's knowledge reporting and management capabilities can benefit project managers, salespeople, quality assurance professionals, engineers, and buyers. Here are the most significant benefits your teams can reap from PDM software:

  • Enhanced cross-department/team communication
  • Enhanced collaboration among global workforces
  • Improved productivity and reduced cycle times
  • Reduced costs and errors in the development process
  • Achieve regulatory and business requirements
  • Boosts value chain orchestration
  • Maximized operational resources
  • Improved business decisions due to better visibility
  • Better organized product data tracking
  • Better overview of data/product changes

Real-life examples of product data usage

Big brands like Facebook, Apple, and Netflix know that data is among the most valuable assets driving today's world of business. Probably, at least one of these examples is your favorite. These giants rely heavily on PDM to bring you the coolest features and experiences. So learning a bit about how they're using data can give you an idea of how to make it work for your company too. 


Netflix is among companies that are well-known for leveraging and managing vast amounts of data. It boasts of more than 167 million users worldwide. This data helps the company to personalize a user experience to deliver robust customer satisfaction. 

For instance, Netflix can cross-reference information regarding person X's favorite shows with person Y's data to make recommendations. If Becky enjoyed Stranger Things and The Walking Dead, then it's likely that John, who also liked The Walking Dead, will love Stranger Things

Which is a particular user's most preferred cover art? Netflix's constant user interface tests can unravel and deliver it. Do they like clicking on content displaying close-up faces of characters? The system will display more of these types. If you prefer content showing female actors, The Avengers' cover will change from Thor's close-up image to Black Widow's face. Product Data Management facilitates all these capabilities. 


Facebook is another giant that feeds on data analytics and Big Data. In fact, when you think about paid social media advertising, it's impossible to forget Facebook's ad platform. 

This sophisticated engine knows the exact preferences of each of its 1.62 billion daily users. It can sniff out where each user frequents while online. That's why marketers love using this ads manager to personalize user experiences and bring in more revenue.  

As Facebook enables its users to enjoy personalized content and advertisers to reap excellent rates, it continues to grow by leaps and bounds. 

But wait, there's an elephant in the room—should the scandals haunting this behemoth worry you as a product manager? While your product development heavily relies on data science, you need to keep an eye on the ethical implications. You don't want to run into trouble in the future. 


Apple takes the lead when it comes to delivering data-driven products to people worldwide. It relies on Big Data to gather, leverage, and manage vast amounts of data. 

Wearable technology is among its newest kids on the block that help it collect massive data. The number of Apple Watch wearers is now more than 43 million. This success fueled the partnership between Apple and IBM to optimize and use digital health data. 

The sensors can collect a wide range of data on each user, including the amount of sleep, level of activeness, and calorie intake. With this information, Apple can determine the overall health of a large population seamlessly. 

Becoming a more data-driven company

In 2021 and beyond, you need to emphasize data-driven approaches if you're looking to thrive online. You'll need to track, collect, and manage product data metrics to serve your customers better and meet your company goals. However, your plate is likely already packed with other crucial things to do. We can help. Here at ProfitWell, data is what we do. 

Your business needs to boost its recovery rate automatically and lower the churn rate. ProfitWell Retain is your best solution for tracking how people use your product. With its top-in-class algorithms, leveraging multiple data points is possible. You can now pinpoint the reasons payments fail and act swiftly to recover them.

Have you been struggling with setting the right pricing strategy for your subscription-based business? With our product, Price Intelligently, you can now say goodbye to all that guesswork. Our software pairs the best pricing economists and algorithms to ensure your strategy is data-driven. 

We also have Recognized for rigorous revenue recognition. This software's computational horsepower is your answer to managing those lines in your spreadsheets reliably, as top accounting and engineering skills went into designing the system. 

Product data management (PDM) FAQs

What is product data management (PDM)?

Product Data Management (PDM) uses software to gather, leverage, and manage information related to product data and processes in a single, centralized system. The data include models, computer-aided design (CAD), documents, requirements, manufacturing instructions, parts information, and notes. 

What is the best PDM software?

Siemens PDM is the best PDM software for both CAD and non-CAD users. Every professional in your company can use this system seamlessly to access data across multiple applications. 

What does a product data manager do?

From the surface, a Product Mata Manager is responsible for setting KPIs and OKRs, managing relationships among stakeholders, and owning the roadmap. Diving deeper, a Product Data Manager looks into data every day to:

  • Build means of gathering and organizing data 
  • Centralize insights and data sets from individual contributors
  • Apply data in creating and perfecting a product
  • Choose and maintain PDM software

Is there a difference between a product manager vs product data manager?

Yes. A Product Manager coordinates business, technology, and design. While they don't exercise official authority over organization members, they liaise with teams and lead them toward a common goal. Some of their tasks include:

  • Establishing KPIs and OKRs
  • Owning the roadmap
  • Managing relationships among stakeholders

On the other hand, while a Product Data Manager's tasks are similar to those of a product manager, their skills in particular fields (like UI/UX and machine learning) are more profound. They need to understand the ins and out of these technical areas and apply them well in product development. 

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