8 Reasons We're Psyched about Wine + Data in 2018

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Last month, as I sat down to reflect on Enolytics 2017, I realized that the most compelling ideas of the past year have also planted the seeds for what's to come, in 2018 and beyond.

It was a long list of "seed" ideas and developments that inspires and motivates me for the year ahead.

I've narrowed it down, here, to eight.

1. The increasing ability to segment wine consumer data by demographics like gender and ethnicity, at the quantitative scale in very precise geographic areas. This will result in very targeted delivery of information to consumers and we can say good-bye, for good, to the "spray and pray" guesswork approach.

2. Wineries and organizations are empowered to do more with their own data, and to seek out data from independent sources that relates to their own brands. In the coming weeks I'll be sharing an example of a winery who's put this into practice.

3. As more people learn about our work and see the results, we're building momentum from recognition and awareness. A recent endorsement comes from Pedro Ballesteros MW of Spain:

We associate wine with pleasure and cultural experience, something difficult to quantify, but Enolytics demonstrates that big data on our aggregated preferences for enjoying wine can result in clear patterns and tendencies. Big data should make life easier for producers to position the wines that the consumers request, while not taking an iota of our enjoyment!

4. We're also seeing more requests and queries from students at many levels, particularly MBA, WSET and Master of Wine programs. It isn't just that they're asking questions about our work and outcomes; it's also the nature of the questions that they're asking. That tells us a lot about interests and directions to come.

5. Our network of data partners is becoming ever more diverse, and each of them brings something unique to the table. Our team's ability to aggregate various sources of data, and derive insights from that, is the ace up our sleeve.

6. So far the international component of Enolytics has been driven by companies and organizations from abroad who are looking to expand their presence in the U.S. market. We're now seeing those companies also looking to replicate our research in their home countries. It's thanks to the global footprint of our data partners that we're able to do this.

7. Closer to home, we're also seeing the development of interest from producers in California, Oregon and Washington. This has been, as we expected from the start, slower to reach a tipping point and we are not there yet. But we are patient and eager to talk with wineries about their needs and budgets, and find the solutions that are right for them.

8. We're in the midst of a shift away from wineries and organizations seeing data as something overwhelming and incomprehensible, to something that's useful, empowering and -- dare we say it? -- friendly and interactive. I sense this during my own conversations with potential clients, and also during conversations with our network of data partners.

What about you? What's on your mind, as the New Year gets underway? I'd love to hear.

It's going to be an amazing 2018, and I'm incredibly grateful to be along for the ride with you.

Thank you.