Debate

Where Should Data Science Report?

Data and product are inherently intangled; whether it’s because product managers heavily rely on data, or because data scientists mine the product for insights, these disciplines’ Venn diagram has quite a bit of overlap. Increasingly, as product organizations become drivers of growth, they are getting data scientists, with an understanding that the product is the best source of intel about how a company is doing.

In this week’s poll, we asked: where should data science report? Product, Business Intelligence, maybe elsewhere? 50% of you thought the data science does, in fact, belong in product. 34% thought that BI should be home for data science, and the rest of you voted for “other.”

As our debaters both point out, there is a definitional question of what exactly data science means – What do you think? Where do the data scientists in your company report? Tells us in the comments.

Product

Data science can certainly be a loaded term, but if we mean data science that provides the necessary insights to activate your product’s efficacy, adoption, and renewal rates, then the answer is product, all day long.

Kirsten Butzow
Product Coach, Pragmatic Marketing
Embedded

Data science means a lot of different things to different companies, so it's tough to have an across-the-board answer. However, what I will say is that data science is an inherently applied discipline, and benefits greatly from being as close as possible to the problems they're trying to solve. If they're trying to analyze customer usage to inform product decisions, they should sit with product. If they're trying to model customer personas and segments to drive better marketing and personalization, they should sit with marketing. Or if their goal is to provide more general insights for the company to better inform executive decisions, they should sit with a centralized analytics or BI team.

Justin DeBrabant
Head of Product, ActionIQ
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