Data Sources Outside the Norm, and How They Help

At Enolytics we talk and think quite a lot about third-party data sources – companies, that is, who have collected consumer data records over the natural course of their operations. These companies are normally, and naturally, in the wine business, but today I’d like to focus for a moment on another source that is outside that norm:

U.S. census data.

The U.S. Census Bureau does what it does – produces data about the American people and economy, which is used for planning decisions that range from public transportation to fire precincts to new housing.

SIDEBAR: You might think that the homepage for the U.S. Census Bureau is a little geeky, and IMO you’d be right. But boy, is it ALSO a treasure trove of information that’s up-to-date, relevant to current events, and just plain interesting to anyone with their head up and eyes forward. Here’s a snapshot of topics on today’s homepage alone: ecommerce revenue, hurricane season, demographic and economic profiles of electorates by state, education revenue, and public welfare spending in western states.

For Enolytics’ data model, U.S. census data does what it does – studies the American people and economy – but within the context of wine. Our interest is in what the data indicates about demographics, particularly age and geography, down even to the level of individual zip codes.

When so much of the wine-related data today is also geolocated, it helps tremendously to overlay our wine data sets onto census data sets. Here’s an example.

We prepared the Wine O’Clock report to study WHEN consumers were most engaged with mobile wine content. Since the data is geolocated, we also segmented the WHEN study by market location, and learned that Wine O’Clock in San Francisco, say, is different than Wine O’Clock in Chicago or New York.

We could then “zoom in” to specific neighborhoods within those specific markets. Using census data, we could also know the median age range and median income levels of residents within a zip code.

A wine company’s outreach to an audience they know to be mainly comprised of the Baby Boomer demographic will be different from its outreach to an audience they know to be mainly Millennials. Similarly, a wine company with a premium priced offering could tailor their communication to exactly their target audience at exactly the right time that audience is open to receiving it. A wine company that hosts lots of outdoor events could even correlate consumer behavior patterns to weather patterns.

It’s powerful information, certainly. It’s also driven in part by publicly available census data.

You’ve got to know how to access it and integrate it into other sources, which is where Enolytics’ data team and model come in. As we talk with more wine businesses, and listen to more of the questions that they need answered, we challenge the data more and more. We test its potential, and find new pathways to insights and knowledge that’s useful and applicable in the daily course of wine business.