Skip to main content


Unpacking Data Product Innovation with Solomon Kahn

In the latest episode of Data in Chief, Solomon Kahn, CEO of Delivery Layer, talks to Christine Carragee about the evolving landscape of data products and data product innovation. As someone who’s carved a niche in building customer-facing data applications, Solomon’s insights offer a wealth of knowledge for anyone navigating the complex world of data analytics and data product development.

Here are some important takeaways from the episode:

Bridging the Data Divide

Solomon’s creation of Delivery Layer stems from a critical gap he identified in the market: the disconnect between sophisticated internal data tools and the requirements for external data delivery. His experiences revealed that while internal analytics tools have become increasingly advanced, transitioning this data into customer-facing products often resulted in a compromised user experience, lacking in trust, usability, and proper data entitlements.

The Genesis of Delivery Layer

Delivery Layer was born out of Solomon’s realization that businesses were unnecessarily reinventing the wheel by building custom software for external data delivery. He envisioned a platform that would enable companies to leverage their existing data assets to create customer-facing products efficiently, without the extensive lead time and resource investment typically associated with software development.

Redefining Data Products

A key distinction Solomon makes is between internal data applications used for decision-making and customer-facing data products. He defines the latter as offerings where the data itself drives the product, delivering value directly to the customer. This perspective shifts the focus towards enhancing the customer experience and delivering actionable insights through data.

Overcoming Data Product Challenges

Solomon highlights several challenges unique to customer-facing data products, including the need for robust security, intuitive user interfaces, and sophisticated permission management. These challenges underscore the importance of a platform like Delivery Layer, designed to address these issues head-on, ensuring that data products are not only functional but also secure and user-friendly.

Navigating the Build vs. Buy Dilemma

A recurrent theme in Solomon’s narrative is the build vs. buy decision in software development. He advocates for a balanced approach, emphasizing that while building allows for customization, buying can offer speed, reliability, and ongoing support. This is particularly relevant for non-core business functions where leveraging existing solutions can provide a quicker path to market and reduce long-term maintenance burdens.

The Future of Data Products

The conversation is not just a look back at Solomon’s journey in data product innovation at Delivery Layer, but also a forward-looking exploration of the potential for data products. As businesses increasingly recognize the value locked within their data, platforms like Delivery Layer stand to play a crucial role in unlocking this potential, facilitating a new era of data-driven customer engagement. The evolution of data products is not just about the technology itself, but about how we conceptualize, deliver, and derive value from data in a way that serves both businesses and their customers.