Why Wine Data Isn't More Widely Utilized (and What We're Doing about It)


Why isn’t wine data more widely accepted as a resource?

What are the obstacles that keep a business from utilizing quantitative, consumer-driven data?

And what, ultimately, would convince a business to buy in?

As a co-founder of Enolytics, these are the questions I wrestle with on a daily basis. Education, patience, and results-driven evidence and case studies have been the responses that have consistently and effectively tipped the scale in our favor so far. 

A few weeks ago, when I taught the subject of big data for wine to two groups of MBA students in Bordeaux, I asked them this question as well: in their opinion, what are the reasons why a business resists the use of wine consumer data? Nearly all of the students were European and most fell within the millennial demographic.

Their answers made me go, Hmm. I’d like to share them with you here.

  1. Trust. Or, more accurately, a lack of trust — of the data, that is, and of “outsiders” who are bringing this concept to them. Where does the data come from, they wanted to know, and how can they be sure it’s real and accurate?
  2. Priority. There’s a lot to do, every day and every season and every year, and most businesses that the students work for or plan to work for adhere to the routine and flow of that cycle. So working with consumer data becomes yet another thing that the business would need to find time to do.
  3. Relevance of the Data Over Time. Relatedly, the students questioned the “shelf life” of the data. With so much to do already, is the data still “good” if they don’t get to it for a few weeks or months down the road?
  4. Someone to Interpret the Results. What do we do with the information once we have it? Though this has yet to be a real-life problem for any client we’ve worked with, it caused some anxiety among the students.

Since the students, as the next generation of leaders in their companies, can also be advocates for the use of data, I listened hard to their concerns. Some of what has been working for us so far — education, patience, and results-driven evidence and case studies — is relevant and helpful here too, though working within Europe certainly poses its own unique challenges.

We’re confident in our ability to respond to three of these four challenges — trust, relevance of the data over time, and interpreting the results. In the coming months we’ll also be introducing new partnerships and initiatives that we hope, and expect, will help. Please stay tuned.

The remaining challenge, prioritizing a data project, is less up to us, naturally, and more up to the potential client to decide if and when they are ready to differentiate themselves from the competition.

Are you ready?

Because we are, whenever you say Go.

Thank you for reading and, as always, let me know your questions and ideas and concerns.

Happy December in the meantime!