“Real World Products”

To resolve the confusion, I find it helpful to think about products in the “real world” and what they are like. 

First, you typically find real world products in a store, either a brick & mortar store or a digital store, which have become commonplace. In a physical store, shoppers browse the aisles, pick up and examine products, compare them to other nearby products, add them to their cart, purchase them, and take them home. When they examine a product, they might read the ingredients, number of calories, nutritional statistics, and expiration date.  (See figure 1.) 

Taken collectively, these real-world products exhibit several characteristics: they are standardized, packaged, shoppable, deliverable, and returnable. (See figure 2.) These characteristics are a good starting point for understanding the true nature of data products.

“Real-world products are standardized, packaged, shoppable, deliverable, and returnable.”

Figure 1. Buying Products in the Real World


Figure 2. Characteristics of Real-World Products

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