Imagine a bustling market where a craftsman is meticulously crafting his goods. Nearby, a shop owner thoughtfully arranges a variety of items, each one ready to meet a customer’s specific need. This transition from craftsman to shop owner mirrors a significant shift happening in the world of data management, specifically the emergence of the Data Product Owner role.

When we talk about data products here, we mean productised data sets. The term data products can mean different things to different people – dashboards, data science models, and so on. But in this article, it refers to any data that has been structured and organised for consumption. Whether it serves as an input for data scientists or BI specialists or is used directly, as long as it has potential users within the company, it fits our definition.

Crafting Data Products

Historically, data engineers have played the role of the craftsman in the data world. They use their technical skills to extract, transform, and load data to create valuable products. Like the craftsman, their role traditionally concludes once the product, in this case, the productised data set, is prepared and ready for use.

Becoming the shop owner

As organisations started recognising the strategic importance of data, a new role began to take shape – that of the Data Product Owner. This transition is similar to the craftsman evolving into a shop owner. A Data Product Owner might not delve into the technical details of creating data products, but they need a deep understanding of these data products’ purpose, who their potential users are, their business value, and how they fit into the broader business strategy.

The artisanal shop

In some cases, a Data Product Owner might also be a data engineer – this scenario is similar to an artisan owning a shop. This dual role can create a smoother alignment between the creation of data products and their business application. However, such a blend of skills is an added bonus, not a necessity.


In your organisation, you’ve likely had data engineers, the craftsmen of the data world, for quite a while. Their expertise remains vital, but the evolving data landscape calls for a different set of skills – those of a Data Product Owner. This shift isn’t about replacing one role with another but about recognising that managing data as a strategic asset requires a different mindset. Understanding the product, its users, and its alignment with business goals becomes central.

This is a human-centric change, where success lies not in the tools but the minds wielding them. Remember, data might be the lifeblood of modern businesses, but it’s the people who keep the heart beating!

Similar Posts