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Realization of Minimum Viable Product + Business Intelligence



MVP has to be as simple as possible and still get attraction from early customers and allow You to evaluate if Your idea is right. From the other side BI product goal is to help You to make data driven decisions and give insights to Your team, the simplicity is not the main factor here if the result are satisfying. So what is MVP + BI, in my opinion that equals to a product which solve enough/minimum problems of targeted audience with data driven user interface.


Data driven user interface, it will sound funny but, it is an interface which brings value only if backed by data, like interactive map which shows geographic information and administrative boundaries, if we will not use additional data source, maybe Public Census Data to supplement it, it will not give us any insights.



Right Minimum


So the process is as following, first You have to list out all of the features Your product will need, and secondly, You highlight only those features which will attract Your early customers, in most cases it will be User Interface + Targeted Audience Problem. I will keep to the MVP+BI example I have already mentioned at the introduction. Maybe the map interface has to be very easy to use and Your target audience will appreciate full screen mode. From the data point of view, You may start thinking, how I will display administrative data on the map and how to bake it with supplementary data sets to create heat maps ?



Technological Knowledge


You may identify expectations about user interface of Your targeted audience pretty well if You have enough business information. You simply cannot do the same on the level of product realization if You do not have enough technological information. If You have a friend who has experience in the area of Your product, ask him for advice, if there is no one You can trust, You need to make a session with IT consultant, it should be a person with many years of experience. Experience matter here as experienced person will evaluate Your idea from many stand points and give You more holistic recipe how to realize Your product.


After a session with IT consultant You would probably know, that if You want to visualize data on map in web application You need javascript map library like https://leafletjs.com/ which is Open Source and available for free. You would possibly know as well that You need a shapefile or geojson file with geographic information about administrative locations. If geographic data that You will work with is rather static and You will not make geographic queries, for example checking if a point is in boundaries of administrative unit, than You should be fine with a static geojson file which You may host on Amazon Web Services S3 and use by Your web application.



Realization


As we see, realization of product core feature maybe complex and need to be well addressed. The key to success is in technical implementation, which needs to be simple for MVP purposes but prepared for huge business requirements that may come after success of MVP. No one wants to create completely new product from the scratch. And I really advice You here, to not expect too much from projects with low budget and complex features. You need to remember that if a budget of the product is wrongly estimated and You demand too much, at the end You will get working product, but its quality and capability to quickly adapt for new business requirements maybe very low.



Don’t reinvent if You don’t need


Do You want to scrape linkedin, use https://proxycrawl.com/, do You need to expose Your google calendar, use https://calendly.com/. Do You need to get data from https://github.com use their free API. Everything I have mentioned above is about integration with third party available components, good Solution Architect will spend most of Your project resources on things that really matters for MVP. If there is some service available which will speed up the development and it is not our core feature why not to integrate it and focus on map feature as in our case ?

Go with serverless application to simplify even more. Serverless means that You pay for resources You use, but not only, it refers to the architecture of Your application. You could create a web application with just AWS S3, on S3 You can store different kind of files, You could store your web application html, geojson and supplementary dataset. If You would need authentication we can use AWS Cognito or use one of available third party providers, Gmail, Facebook or Instagram to verify user identity.

Remember always put most of Your budget on components that are critical for Your application success. And make sure that Your MVP solution is elastic enough to be scaled if the right time comes.

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