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How Data Products Accelerate Your AI Journey

5 min read
Posted On April 30, 2024

It has been just over a year since ChatGPT propelled generative AI into the mainstream spotlight for organizations. This has marked a crucial milestone in the advancement of readily accessible AI technologies. The introduced foundation models, which have been trained on petabytes of data, are set to revolutionize fields like text, image, audio, video, and code generation. Advancements in these out of the box available AI technologies present a paradigm shift for organizations away from the need to develop AI technologies in-house to producing high quality data.

Before the historic ChatGPT debut organizations had to develop and train AI themselves. Now, the focus shifts towards data. As the technology is not the competitive advantage anymore the data to train and feed into the AI has become the most pressures resource. In this new era, the technology itself no longer serves as the primary competitive edge; instead, the data used to train and enhance AI has become the most valuable resource and differentiator.

Without the right management practices, data can become a cumbersome asset rather than a valuable resource. Hence, agile concepts such as product management are increasingly applied to the domain of data, transforming how organizations handle their data assets (related article: What is a Data Product, Seven Recommendations for Data Product Management).

The Shift to Data as a Product

Traditionally, data management involved handling large volumes of information in a way that was often siloed and inefficient. This approach frequently led to duplicated efforts, inconsistent data quality, and slow delivery times for data-driven projects. As businesses recognized the need for more agile data handling, the concept of treating data as a product emerged.

A data product, in this context, is not just a dataset but a well-managed asset that provides value to its consumers. It involves a reusable data asset that makes a trusted dataset or AI and analytics method accessible to authorized users. This shift is underpinned by the principles of product management, which focus on creating products that are user-centric, valuable, and high-quality.

Application of Agile Principles

Agile methodologies, known for their flexibility and focus on rapid delivery, are well suited to the dynamic nature of data. Here are a few ways agile concepts benefit data product management:

1. Iterative Development: Agile promotes the idea of iterative development, where data products are built, tested, and improved in successive cycles. This allows data teams to adapt quickly to changes in business needs or data itself.

2. User-Centric Design: Just as with any other product, data products must meet the needs of their users. Agile product management emphasizes understanding and empathizing with users, ensuring that data products are designed with the end-user in mind, thereby increasing their utility and adoption.

3. Cross-Functional Collaboration: Agile methodologies encourage collaboration across different teams. In the context of data products, this means that data scientists, IT professionals and business stakeholders work together to ensure that the data product meets technical standards and business objectives.

4. Continuous Improvement: Data is dynamic, and so are the needs of its users. Agile practices support continuous monitoring and enhancement of data products, ensuring they remain relevant and valuable over time.

The Benefits of Agile Data Product Management

Implementing agile practices in data management can lead to several benefits along your AI journey:

  • Increased Efficiency: Agile methods can reduce the time to deliver valuable data products, thereby speeding up decision-making processes.
  • Improved Data Quality: Regular iterations allow for continual assessments of data quality, with adjustments made swiftly to ensure the data remains trustworthy.
  • Enhanced Collaboration: Agile practices foster a culture of open communication and collaboration, which is essential for successful data initiatives.


As data continues to grow in volume and importance for AI, the application of agile product management principles to data handling is becoming a necessity. This approach not only enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of data management practices but also ensures that data remains a strategic asset that can drive informed decision-making and innovation. By viewing data through the lens of product management, organizations can unlock its full potential, turning data into valuable data products that serve well-defined user needs.

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