Over the past decade, people have discovered ways in which they can use data to improve their work and lives. As expected, people began demanding more and more data. Fast-forward to today, people are bombarded by data from all angles. The challenge has shifted: People no longer want data; they want to get value out of it.
The challenge for companies is building solutions –often software applications– that help users get value out of all the data. It's all about making the data work for users. Data should help them make decisions to take actions to reach their goals.
This leads to goal-first thinking: What are the users' goals and how can data be leveraged such that it helps them achieve these goals?
Understanding the Goals
Goal-first thinking needs a user-first approach. As written in the Customer Development Manifesto by Steve Blank and Rob Dorf: "There are no facts inside your building, so get outside.". It is important to put the users and their goals first and determine how data can be leveraged to achieve those goals. To achieve this, it is important to ask the right questions.