Data Is Powering The Wine and Spirits Industries

“COVID-19 was a wake-up call in a lot of ways for the wine and spirits industry – and data is only becoming more important.”

This is what we heard from Cathy Huyghe, Co-Founder and CEO of wine tech company Enolytics, in the latest episode of Data Brilliant - Unplugged.

When we talk about being data-driven, our minds will often jump to sectors such as professional services, healthcare, finance and manufacturing. We don’t necessarily think about wine and spirits.

Of course – like any complex business – companies in this industry don’t lack data. But harnessing the power of data to inform products and distribution strategies is only now beginning to penetrate one of the oldest industries in the world.

Comprised of farmers, vineyard owners, wine makers, distributors, retailers, restaurants and so on, they wouldn’t have needed to ‘tick the box’ for working with data on their CVs. Companies in the industry also don’t typically have a ‘data person’ to manage the huge landscape of constantly changing data – in fact, we learned during the episode that only 18 percent of wine companies have this role in-house.

But, thanks to people like Cathy, the wine and spirits industry is undergoing a radical data revolution. Having written about wine for 15 years as a journalist, she transitioned her passion for storytelling through words to data. Cathy is now an advocate for the use of intelligent data and “taking data seriously” – proof that all industries, even the most unexpected, can benefit from being data-driven.

After meeting Qlik Luminary Dalton Ruer (now a Qlik employee), Cathy embedded Qlik at the heart of Enolytics due to its robustness, ease of use and trustworthiness as a platform – and uses the tool to power the back-end of the business, visualize data to illustrate bigger picture trends to her customers, and deep dive into data.

Enolytics customers derive business value across many fronts, such as market trend analysis; custom marketing strategies, including how to recover lapsed or fading customers; and sales reporting scorecards with color-coded KPI dashboards. In a nutshell, Enolytics uses data to connect customers to business success strategy, perhaps most importantly “what wines do ‘wine people’ love?”

But it’s not just B2B sales Enolytics provides insight into. As it also leverages natural language processing of consumer tasting note data from the wine app Vivino, as well as GeoAnalytics and geotagging for target market heat maps, Enolytics clients can also map consumer trends, too.

Very quickly Cathy realized that her Enolytics team could easily pivot how they work with wine to other categories, such as spirits and beers.

One of the industry players Enolytics works with is Haas Brothers, a San Francisco-based importer, marketer and merchant of distilled spirits founded in 1871. According to its National Sales Director, Jacob Lustig, “If you’re not data-driven, what’s driving you? Everything is data-driven; otherwise, you’re just going on hunches. Good predictions are leading from insights which are gleaned from data.”

Enolytics makes data insights more accessible for Haas Brothers, helping to inform and drive strategic business decisions. Jacob mentioned that this has been particularly invaluable during COVID-19 when under pressure to ‘do more with less.’ The company uses data insights to better understand the demand their retail customers are seeing for products such as mezcal and tequila – and this allows them to prioritize distribution, accordingly.

Missed the episode? Watch it on-demand here.

As Dalton Ruer surmised: “Data is only valuable if you start taking action on the insights that you gain from it.” This episode goes to show that there really is no industry or organization that won’t be disrupted by data. Becoming data-driven and creating a data-literate culture is a must for businesses to work smarter, make more informed decisions and stay ahead of the competition.

Cheers!

#Wine & spirits industries increasingly harness #data to inform business strategies & understand customers/markets, according to @Qlik's latest #DataBrilliantUnplugged episode w/ @Enolytics.

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