Top 3 Hard Skills for a Business Strategist in Tech Co.

This 2024 marks my 8th year working professionally in technology companies. Starting back then my career was a aspiring, junior digital marketer that forces to learn every channel exists, yet due to lean resources. Only last 2 year I do found my dream job – intersection of business, product development and growth.

Some says, whenever you work at technology company you have to possess some rocket-science skills, such as understanding complex programming language, able to communicate well with the engineering folks, as well as some database query language.

Myth debunked. There are some must-have skills to make you survive in fast-paced, uncertain, technology company.

1. Data Analysis

Working in a technology company, either a big one or a small one – believe it or not, every decision made is mostly based on a findings from a data lake. Either it transaction data, event-triggered data in an app or website. Sometimes it is relatively small, merely thousands of rows – sometimes it is gigantic, taking millions of rows of data.

Again, you do not have to master the that-sql-query-language. The utmost thing you need is how you identify, cleanse and analyze the data. Not to worry, usually the data team is your family to help this.

After you analyze the data – very nice thing if you could present the data into an useful insight, yet beautifully presentable to stakeholders, no matter whoever you show it to.

2. Budgeting Plan

In 2 years managing a revenue-generating product in a renowned e-commerce player in Indonesia, I do have more engaging conversations (sometimes ended with an exclamation mark) with our beloved financial planning team. They are the one who nags you about the revenue & cost structures of the business you manage, almost on weekly basis.

Luckily enough, I had to learn (or recall) the basic managerial accounting & financial things I had in the past (although I didn’t like it very much haha) and try to explain the revenue levers and costs from the business perspective.

As a business strategist, always keep in your mind that revenue & cost projection always be your friend. Try to learn some basics from your finance team, and try to reduce their headache, as much as you could (with the return of incremental budget allocation, hopefully)

3. Understand how Product & Engineering Works

I am not saying that you had to master a programming language, this thing is intended to give perspective that we need to have empathy to our friends in the product & engineering team.

Most of the business guys do not really have the empathy, they just want their business & features to be prioritized, and to be completed as soon as possible, one sprints if possible (2 weeks or so)

Usually before we ship (release) a product, it went a lengthy journey. We started to discuss desired feature journey, desired metrics to be impacted, and outcome – whichever could be conversion rate, revenue or number of user that actively use the feature.

Business perspective, we can help our friends in Product & Engineering to breakdown into some journey and prioritization, without sacrificing the quality of the product that we want to build.

Assuming the goal of the product is to enable movement from point A to B. As a business guy, we want to ship the best product & experience out there by developing a car – but most of the time (almost always) product engineering team does not have time to craft it on time. Instead, we compromise and improve along the way (see the figure above) – and always see the metrics along the way. We do not want to waste our resource for a bad product, right?

By mastering these three main skills, I do hope we could harmonize our relationship between the stakeholders exists in the tech company – and make everyone happy along the way as it should be, right?






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