Data Reporting Is Dying, and Taking Your Product With It
As the volume of available data grows, you need to reduce the noise at the source
There’s a seismic shift happening in how customers get information out of your product. Like most big changes, it’s going to continue to happen gradually, then suddenly.
That’s also how most failures happen, so you need to make sure you don’t get caught flat-footed when the game changes.
Here’s the short version: If your product features a reporting tool, a reports module, or even if it just packages reports to send data to your customers, those tools are about to become obsolete.
Over the past 10 years, as the volume of data available to the general public has exploded — and as that public relies on that data more and more to get things done each day — the way they consume that data has been evolving. Unfortunately, those of us who produce that data have been slow to adapt to that evolution.
The upshot of the problem is this: People who like to create reports really like to create reports. People who need to read reports really hate to read reports. Here’s why this is reaching tipping point and what to do when that happens.
An Unsustainable Data Explosion Has Changed Data Analysis
The goal for product makers used to be to throw as much data at customers as we could. Then we’d let them analyze it to their hearts’ content. The unintended result of this unsustainable data explosion was a boom in the hiring of expensive data scientists to make sense of all that information.
As those data wrangler’s salaries crept up and became unsustainable themselves, automation crept in. Companies began to rely on any number of business intelligence platforms to automatically pull insights from the mountains of data that they produce.
Today, as those BI platforms have become multibillion-dollar companies, the law of progress is kicking in again. The expense of a traditional BI platform is itself becoming — you guessed it — unsustainable — and thus disruptable.
That disruption is currently underway, and today’s product maker is responding by…