An Information Product is an approach to describe a subset of data, analytical and visualisation requirements in a way that the business stakeholders can agree what they will get and the team can understand and deliver it in small iterations.

I often articulate Information Products as being similar to apps on your smartphone.  Something you click on to achieve a task or outcome, which has a certain style of visualisation or interaction, that is bound by a set of data and is designed to be used by a certain group of users or persona’s.

For example the app we use to check our emails is very different to the app we use to play a game.  Yet they both can be described using a common language based on the target audience, different data requirements and the way they are presented to achieve different actions or outcomes.

So we can use the same common language to differentiate Information Products.

An Information Product can be used to describe something that delivers:

  • Dashboards
  • Reports
  • Data feeds
  • Data API’s
  • Data Sharing
  • Visualisations
  • Analytical models

These are but a few examples of how you can can be classified or described what an Information Product delivers.

The definition of an Information Product should include all the things required to deliver value to the customer, this includes:

  • Code
  • Tables/Views
  • Data Models
  • API’s
  • Visualisations

An Information Product is a self contained, end to end product, it is not just the “last mile”.

The key is not what type of Information Product you are describing, but the refining of requirements so they are small enough for the team to commit to delivering that value to a business stakeholder.  Ideally the defined Information Product is focussed enough to be delivered in one or two iterations.

One of the AgileData patterns I have seen experienced teams having success with is to describe an Information Product early by leveraging either the AgileData Information Product Canvas or Brief templates. This templates has been developed in an iterative manner with multiple different teams to create a way of lightly documenting each Information product without expending a large amount of wasted effort.