An often overlooked role, devs can bring a lot to the table in data projects

Dear Data-Traveller, please note that this is a LinkedIn-Remix.

I posted this content already on LinkedIn in September 2022, but I want to make sure it doesn’t get lost in the social network abyss.

For your accessibility-experience and also for our own content backup, we repost the original text here.

Have a look, leave a like if you like it, and join the conversation in the comments if this sparks a thought!

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Screenshot of Timo Dechau's LinkedIn post with text about developers in analytics projects

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There is a specific kind of person or a particular kind of role, which is usually ignored in data projects and especially in tracking projects.

And these are developers.

It’s pretty shocking – I know. They rarely play an important role in these initial data projects. Even when they finally have an essential role. They ensure that the correct data gets sent to whatever tool you use.

It’s often: “Take these 100 events and please implement them fast because we all need them for things you don’t need to care about”.

And I can already tell you this is usually an approach that doesn’t work out well. And that was interesting when I talked to James Hawkins from PostHog and asked him, what is your target audience?

He immediately answered: developers. We are a developer-first analytics product.

This is quite interesting. Because product analytics targets product managers, usually. But Posthog calls itself a Product OS and takes the features beyond classic product analytics. So they are targeting the developers. Well, the persons who are basically building the product.

And it makes sense. Developers are the ones who know exactly how a product works. They know precisely where it is the best place to maybe get some insights from. And usually, they have often really good ideas about data. What kind of event could be important to make the product better?

This episode was a good lesson for me on how a product is defined when you have a clear idea of your target audience and how your product automatically starts to be different from the usual competition, just because you have a different focus. I hope you enjoy it as well.

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