An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Creating an effective development process for these data products requires following well-established steps — and adding a few new ones, too.
Thanks to several waves of innovation in recent decades, the rise of information and technology is one of the dominant features of the current economy. The expansion of the information economy that began in the mid-1990s included enhanced hardware and software capabilities, abundant broadband Internet access, and increasingly widespread use of the Internet. These developments helped spur the creation of new products and industries and drove a significant increase in data resources. In an important 1996 article published in this journal, “The Design and Development of Information Products,” authors Marc H. Meyer and Michael H. Zack previewed the impact of these changes.1 (See “Revisiting ‘The Design and Development of Information Products.’”)
The past 20 years have brought several reconfigurations of the information and knowledge economy, as enhancements in computer processing and storage capabilities, new software and communication technologies, and the evolution of wireless broadband and mobile computing have taken hold. Technological breakthroughs have driven exponential growth in e-commerce and the emergence of a digital economy with vast data assets. The changes have been accompanied by ongoing attempts to make sense of all the data through the use of analytics.