6 Fundamentals of Data-Driven Documentation You Need to Know
While the product remains the best for your brand, documentation is often the unsung hero that saves the day. And in the data-centric society we live in today, data-driven documentation plays a crucial role in the success of an organization.
For example, a study found that data-driven companies outperform their competitors. Those who know how to leverage data are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, 19 times more likely to be profitable, and 6 times more likely to keep their clients.
Documentation serves many purposes. While most think it’s mainly for end-users, it goes beyond that. It improves your relationship with users and customers and it helps bring your organization to the next level.
Imagine a user trying out your recently launched software. She is new to your brand and is not familiar with how things work. She needs help, but she lives on the other side of the globe. She can try and call customer support or shoot an email to ask for the information she needs.
In such a situation, proper product documentation comes in handy. Well-structured documentation is an essential part of the product discovery process of customers.
Documentation of products may come in various forms. It can be product documentation, an internal development document, a troubleshooting guide, and a knowledge base, among others.
Documentation answers the who, what, when, why, and how about the product. Documentation, aside from ensuring a good customer experience (CX), is also for developers, clients, product managers, support, sales, and other stakeholders of your organization.
Below are some of the top benefits of documentation:
Documentation also helps generate a good amount of data that helps you understand your target market and organization.
Data-driven documentation can be a powerful asset that helps make your good products better and allows customers to get the most out of them. Using a data-centric approach helps measure the success of your product content.
To be successful in such an approach, remember the following:
Communication is the primary goal of documentation. That’s why knowing your customers and understanding their needs should be a top priority. Your product content “talks” to your customers or users and is the single source of truth where they find the answers they need.
To do that, your documentation needs to be complete, support different learning styles, and serve its target audience. Data-driven documentation gives a good overview of what works for customers so you can tweak the strategies that bring you closer to improving user experience and achieving your business goals.
Aside from excellent content, carefully design and lay out your product documentation. Information structure is crucial in the findability of the answers your users need. How you name documents or categories affects how users navigate your content or knowledge base.
Remember that consumption of content is not a linear event. Your users come from different corners of the web and use different devices. They should find the chunk of information they need quickly, so ROI for your documentation efforts is good.
The data you collect needs to help you understand your audience and help evolve your product. Use the information gathered to add value to your products.
Generating new insights can also help you become more agile and be ready to quickly pivot when existing scenarios need you to. Accelerate innovation using the knowledge gained through content analytics or interaction with customers to anticipate solutions to problems you initially didn’t know about.
When you track and measure data of your product content, share the information with your organization’s leaders and across all teams. Bring data to life to reveal trends, connections, and patterns that reveal how content gets consumed and what your team can do to improve things. This way, you build a culture where everyone thinks about the customers’ needs, helps drive adoption, and aims to improve customer loyalty.
When you collect data, it is essential to centralize them. Don’t waste time and resources trying to consume them from multiple silos. Just like how it is important to have a good information architecture, having a tool that works seamlessly with your existing systems is crucial to turn your documentation into a valuable business asset.
Data-driven documentation is a success when you easily turn your collected data into something ready to be analyzed. Your team can digest the information and create actionable insights instead of finding the data and what chunks are helpful to your organization.
A data-centric approach to documentation benefits you whether you are a technical writer, product manager, customer support, or developer. Quality data helps you write better product information, address budget concerns, develop new features, and adjust the behavior of your systems, so users quickly find the content needed.
While you aim to roll out complete and detailed documentation when launching your product, be ready to constantly check and ensure you have timely and relevant content. As your product evolves, you have to add information about new features or functions. The same is true when acquisitions happen, and when dealing with new branding or new content portals.
If you want to deliver data-driven documentation that meets users’ intentions, align your resources – from your staff, their skills, and the technology they use.
Zoomin helps turn your documentation into a powerful tool that helps satisfy your customers’ needs and reduce support costs.
Zoomin is engineered to create a unified source of content for your business, personalize user experience, and customized features for your brand.
Find out how we will help transform your content to create impact. Request a demo today.