Do Product Managers Need SQL and Python?

Do Product Managers Need SQL and Python?


Yes. Python is important


Yes, SQL is important. In some companies, there is no specialist data analyst. Hence, you need to have basic idea of SQL so that you can retrieve and analyze required data


Depends - I really like this question but I think there’s a bigger question buried here.

Really what I think we want to know is - “Should Product Managers build technical skills to access siloed data?”

I believe this largely depends on the maturity of your product’s BI infrastructure. If most of your data is accessible in a BI tool, it may reduce the need to build skills to get at siloed data for product analysis. At the end of the day, it’s important if;

(a) you value using data to drive your product forward (who doesn’t)

(b)you don’t want to burden your team further with requests for data (this is more important than I believe people give it credit)

(c) you want to do some deep analysis yourself

As for what skills should be developed to enable this - thats a separate question. If you’re looking for the most transferable skillsets then probably Python & SQL. But if you want to drive value from your current product it would be best to consult your team to determine technology used (ex: Are you using a SQL DB or NoSQL db?).

Teach a person to fish.


If you are just looking for insights into the data without getting too technical, you can look into Tableau and Power BI. SQL is always a good skill. Python less so for non devs because there are often tools that will give you what you want without having to code.


This seems like it goes to how the PM’s role is defined and varies depending upon the organization. Part of this is how much the PM is working direct vs how much the PM is guiding those who are working directly…


The more you have to ask other people for things, the slower you will go. If you want to iterate quickly on ideas then it’s important to have the right tools at your finger tips. As a PM one of your most important tools is data and the subsequent analysis of that data. The more data you can get, the better. SQL is great for getting data, Python is great for analysing it (but also Excel). I’d definitely learn SQL and then Excel or Python or something else for the analysis side.

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100% not a detriment :slightly_smiling_face: The question though on whether PM’s “need” SQL & Python is different. The challenge at bigger companies can often be even getting access to those DBs which store the data. E.g. at a large company (my org is 7000+) there is often a separate data analyst team that you partner with to get what you need in a more scalable manner. Less one-off queries, more re-usable and constantly refined analytics. So I would answer the question ultimately as - yes SQL (not so much Python) is a must for smaller scale company PMs that won’t have other resources to help with data analysis, but not a must for larger companies - though always helpful.