big data

Straight from the Source of Working with Data + Wine: Mitch Berkoff of 3x3 Insights

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“The stories of data in the wine world, told by the people who actually live it.”

That’s how I introduced the straight-from-the-source” series within Enolytics 101, to highlight the people of wine who work with data every day. The first installment featured Randy Browne, Business Analytics & Insights Lead at C. Mondavi & Family and here were three of his most resonant takeaways:

  • The more time you spend with data, the more muscle memory is formed. You and your team learn what to focus on.

  • You need to take control of where you want your business to go. Relationships help, but how is your product going to outperform the other 1000+ SKUs on the shelf?

  • The “data voice” should have a seat at the table when it comes to all key strategic decisions of the business.

How these things actually happen is the point of this straight-from-the-source series, because we want to draw back the curtain on a day in the life of working with data in wine.

Which brings us to today’s post featuring Mitch Berkoff, Director of Delivery at 3x3 Insights in New York. In this role, Mitch oversees all aspects of data delivery and client management of all clients in the wine, beer, and spirit categories. His responsibilities include data curation, report design, and working on site with clients and their various business units to leverage the full potential of 3x3 Insight’s consumer profile and product data.   

We asked Mitch the same questions we asked Randy and the results, we hope, share this common denominator: they humanize data for wine. These are real people doing real work in wine, and they make data personal.

We hope you enjoy the interview, and the perspective that Mitch brings to real world challenges in the industry.

How did you learn about data? How did you get comfortable with it, as something you “do” as part of your everyday job? 

My relationship with data started at a very young age, growing up in my family’s liquor stores (Bev Max in Connecticut). From the time I was five years old, I remember riding around with my dad to the stores every single Saturday. We would stand in different aisles and near the register for hours just observing and taking it in. I quickly realized that this was my dad’s way of staying in tune with what was going on in the store. This is before the days that POS systems became widely adopted by liquor stores. He didn’t have a way to track product movement and gain insight from it. If my father wanted to know what was selling, he’d have to go on the floor and interact with customers and see how they’re behaving three feet from the shelf. Before retail analytics and category management gained notoriety, through the power of observation my father would identify loss leaders, develop merchandising strategies, re-arrange the store layout, determine pricing, etc. Having the experience of seeing my dad operate with very little data, highlighted the significance of needing data to drive the decision making process.

Fast forward a decade, and technology progressed…somewhat. I got more involved in different facets of the business, and quickly realized that the information we had was still not enough to be able to operate at our highest level. We began investing heavily in building our own reporting infrastructure, which definitely had positive ROI. So you can say I learned about data, because I essentially grew up in it.  But my love and passion of data has grown and evolved since my time working in the family business.

What value does working with data add to your role on a day-to-day basis?  

Data is an integral part of my role on a day-to-day basis. As a member of the 3x3 Insights team, I work with our supplier partners to deliver them product performance and consumer insights on the independent liquor channel.

More powerful than providing suppliers with data, though, is our ability to connect suppliers with retailers in our network to create and measure action with the data we collect. For example, we’re working with some suppliers to measure sales of a product pre-, during, and post- in-store-tasting to measure lift in sales in those accounts and measure the ROI within the 3x3 network. With other suppliers, we’re testing displays and products in different areas of the store to understand the impact the move has on their performance. Everything we do with our supplier partners is through the lens of measure and optimize, when it comes to crafting data driven selling stories, product and display tests, and measuring marketing ROI. 

What’s the biggest challenge you face, when it comes to data in the wine world?  

The wine category presents a number of unique challenges as it relates to my role and our mission at 3x3 Insights. From a data perspective, the number of products, varietals, and vintages makes maintaining our wine database a constant effort. Unlike spirits, there’s a large number of varietals, vintages, and producers. UPC info also gets a little fuzzy as you progress down the long tail of the wine market with smaller producers. I believe this challenge will continue to escalate as the trend of retailers stocking more and more wine SKU’s that are not national brands becomes more widely adopted. Retailers are increasing their selection of wines to account for rapidly changing consumer taste, and to differentiate their store from big box stores where you aren’t as likely to see more premium or smaller batch wines.

As far as feedback from wine suppliers, they’re excited to be accessing category data for the independent channel for a number of reasons.

First, is that the independent channel is becoming their primary channel for higher end and premium wines. Suppliers are also acknowledging that customers in a wine shop or liquor store behave much differently than those shopping in a supermarket or big box store and need data to meet the needs of consumers in the wine shops and liquor stores. With our data, they are tailoring their approach to selling into and maintaining these types of accounts.

Second, as the number of wine SKU’s in the store and on the shelf increases, it’s becoming harder to secure space for your brand. Being able to demonstrate to a retailer that your product is going to bring in new customers, build bigger baskets, and help that retailer differentiate themselves from the competition is almost a requirement to getting your product in the store, which is where we help.

This Week’s Very Big News About Wine + Data, and Why You Should Care

Left to right: Matthew Protti (CEO – BlackSquare), Madeline Puckette (Co-Founder – Folly Enterprises), Ben Andrews (Co-Founder – Folly Enterprises), David Gluzman (CEO – Folly Enterprises)

Left to right: Matthew Protti (CEO – BlackSquare), Madeline Puckette (Co-Founder – Folly Enterprises), Ben Andrews (Co-Founder – Folly Enterprises), David Gluzman (CEO – Folly Enterprises)

Let me approach this week’s post the way an old-school journalist would, with the who-what-where-when-why.

WHO: The Global Wine Database (GWDB) and Wine Folly, in particular David Gluzman and Madeline Puckette, respectively.

WHAT: The two businesses are merging.

WHERE: Geographically, GWDB is in Calgary, Wine Folly is in Seattle.

WHEN: The merger was announced officially last week, on April 3.

WHY (a.k.a., the best part): To design the interface for the human experience of wine information.

Let’s pause for a moment right here.

“To design the interface for the human experience of wine information.”

As you no doubt know, there is an endless stream of wine information being generated every moment of every day. The fact that businesses in the industry don’t do such a great job yet with all of that information is a big reason why Enolytics exists.

GWDB knows this too, especially since they’re the ones who have set themselves the Herculean goal of collecting accurate data about the world’s wines all under one roof.

Wine Folly definitely knows this, since Puckette has long been a thought leader on compelling, visually engaging infographics about the world of wine. During Vinitaly just this past week, in fact, she was recognized for this work by winning the IWSC Wine Communicator of the Year award.

So, we have on our hands a very significant coming together for anyone who cares about wine + data, as I assume you do.

On one hand, accurate technical data about wine.

On the other hand, great visual storytelling of that data that will boost the human experience of wine out of the spreadsheets that have held it captive for so long.

It’s just as the motto for the new Folly Enterprises states: Engaging, informative and accurate wine information for the world.

Right??

At Enolytics, we couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the news of this merger. It’s good news, for all of us who care about business intelligence, compelling narratives, and accurate data – all in service of the human experience of wine.

Please reach out with any questions or comments, and thank you as always for reading.

Cathy

Enolytics is Shortlisted in the Born Digital Wine Awards’ Innovation Category

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So yeah. We’re pretty stoked about it.

Partly that’s because being shortlisted for the Born Digital Wine Awards’ (BDWA) Innovation category positions Enolytics alongside some of the people we respect most in the industry. (Please read the full announcement here.) We respect these colleagues because they stick their neck out, and because of their belief that the wine industry can keep doing better, even when that belief isn’t always the most popular one.

We believe that too: that the wine industry can keep doing better. In fact that’s how we answered one of the questions in Round Two of the BDWA selection process. The question was, “What does winning the Innovation award mean to you?”

It’s a vote for collaboration in the wine world, we replied.

It’s a validation of an idea, and an endorsement of an effort to push the envelope.

Even moreso, though, was this second part of our answer that had to do with motivation, and our “why”:

We are motivated internally. We are determined for Enolytics to add value to the industry, and we will continue on that path whether or not we receive external validation.

Please don’t get me wrong. We are grateful, deeply and sincerely, for the external validation and recognition of our work. And it will help, without a doubt. In fact it already has.

We’re just saying that we’d do the work anyway.

Because it matters, and we’re stoked most of all to be able to keep doing it.

THANK YOU.

Happily, we’d also like to highlight two additional developments related to the BDWA news:

  1. A Balanced Glass, founded by Rebecca Hopkins, has also been shortlisted for the Innovation Award. The ABG community of wine professionals prioritizes wellness and balance in our lives, and I’m proud to say that I contribute content to the site every other week. Two other nominees for the Innovation Award, Robert Hopkins and Stevie Kim at Wine2Wine, have also encouraged and supported Enolytics in various capacities.

  2. My article on Forbes.com that featured fellow wine writer Julia Coney was shortlisted in the Best Interview category: “It’s Like Mansplaining, but for Race”: What the Wine Industry Can Learn about Black Consumers. The article was about Julia, but it’s really about how she pushes the envelope too.

Please have a look at all the BDWA news here.

Thank you, again –

Cathy

The Roller Coaster Ride That Is Enolytics: Ups, Downs, Tipping Points, and Loop the Loops

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Before we launched Enolytics, many of you were familiar with my writing on wine for Forbes online. Contributing to Forbes was a boon to my career as a writer, as it enabled me to explore the wine industry and to study the nuances of its business from the inside out. Since my particular “beat” in the column was technology, it was during this time that the kernel of the idea for Enolytics began to take shape.

Once we launched in 2016, my editors at Forbes halted my writing about technology and, though I am still an enthusiastic contributor at Forbes on other areas of the wine business, I also began writing for Inc online about entrepreneurship, particularly in the wine and hospitality space. The Inc platform, too, has opened exceptional opportunities for exploring the nuances of business, this time through the entrepreneurial lens.

An article I posted this week outlines a pivotal moment along the entrepreneurial journey of Enolytics: when to decide to scale the business. You are welcome to read the original post over on Inc.com but here are the key takeaways for anyone who’s experienced the vertigo of the roller coaster ride that is the startup world.

  • We knew what Enolytics’ initial offering was but we also knew that, since data analysis was (and is) still a new concept for the wine industry, we'd have to be nimble and responsive to the needs that were being expressed. This meant a lot of listening and, for the sake of our bottom line, even more understanding of how to scale what seemed at first to be one-off or custom projects.

  • It isn't easy. There are projects we're managing now that frankly we couldn't have anticipated when we launched, and were not even on our radar during the writing of our business plan.

  • There was no way we could have anticipated the particular development of Enolytics Spain, because we couldn't have predicted that there was a data group in Madrid who had been planning to do very much the same thing. There was no way to know, until we launched and the idea was "out there."

  • Shortly after Andrés Bonet contacted me about a satellite office in Madrid, where he lives, he drove to Bordeaux to meet me; I'd been teaching at a university there that week. We sat and talked on the edge of a fish market, with a few burly and very vocal fishmongers in the background, in the midst of a bustling Saturday morning market in November.

  • The business is data is transacted in zeroes and ones, of course, but face-to-face was where the business of our partnership was transacted. (Accompanied by the soundtrack of fishmongers throwing fish.)

The essence of entrepreneurship is putting a new idea out there. Something, probably many things, are bound to go wrong. But it's what you'll learn along the way that make launching the idea — and its subsequent iterations — worth doing.

When the Gears Shift in Hall 10 at Prowein: Wine + Data in Spain [Bilingual Edition]

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It was a little bit like feeling the gears shift.

Not literally, of course. But walking the aisles this year in Hall 10 at Prowein in Düsseldorf was that different than walking the same aisles last year.

Last year, talking with Spanish wineries alongside Andrés Bonet-Merten, the lead at the Enolytics Spain office in Madrid, felt a lot like trying to shift from park to first gear when you’re just getting the hang of a manual transmission. It was all very new, with not much momentum to help things along.

This year, however, while talking with Spanish wineries with Andrés, we heard some things that indicated an encouraging increase of momentum.

  1. We heard from a surprising number of wineries how much they’re already investing in various sources of data. Their question: “We have data from here, and data from there, and plus we have our own data. Why should we work with you?” Our answer: “Congratulations! You’re way ahead of the curve when you have multiple sources of data. We’re here to help you actually put that data to use. We know how to make those data sets talk to one another, and interpret them, to tell you what you need to know to move your business forward.”

  2. We heard about projects wineries have underway, or are about to start, that can be significantly informed by various platforms in our ecosystem of data partners. Some projects are viticultural in nature, others relate to enotourism, and still others are about ecommerce activity in target markets in the US. We’re happy to be the link between these wineries and the data partners who are best suited to help them, even if Enolytics’ services aren’t required beyond connecting the dots.

  3. We heard about the blindspot that is the end consumer’s behavior around the wines of a particular winery or organization. This is not a new observation or a new pain point, but we’re in a significantly better position now to be able to respond to it directly.

And etc.

It felt like progress. Which brought a fair amount of joy.

There’s joy in the work itself. There’s joy in contributing to things that make a difference. And there will be joy akin to successfully shifting into higher gears, with only the open road ahead. 

Thank you, very much, for being along for the ride. We’re excited to report back as things progress. 

As always, please let me know if you have any questions or ideas.
Cathy

*****

Sintiendo cómo se sube de marcha en el pabellón 10 en Prowein: Vino + Datos en España

Fue un poco como sintiendo que se subía de marchas.

No literalmente, claro. Pero caminando por los pasillos este año por el pabellón 10 de Prowein en Düsseldorf, fue diferente que cuando caminamos los mismos pasillos el año pasado.

El año pasado, conversando con las bodegas españolas acompañado por Andrés Bonet-Merten, el director de Enolytics Spain, nuestra oficina en Madrid, me sentí en gran parte como si intentase cambiar de marcha, de aparcado a primera, en un cambio de marchas manual. Fue todo muy nuevo, sin inercia que ayudase al asunto.

Este año, en cambio, al hablar con las bodegas con la ayuda de Andrés, escuchamos algunas cosas que indicaban un esperanzador aumento de impulso oportuno.

  1. Escuchamos de un asombroso número de bodegas cuánto ya están invirtiendo en distintas fuentes de datos. Su pregunta: “Tenemos datos de aquí y datos de allá y también tenemos nuestros datos propios. ¿Por qué deberíamos trabajar con vosotros?” Nuestra respuesta: “¡Enhorabuena! Estás por encima de la media si tienes múltiples   fuentes de datos. Estamos aquí precisamente para ayudarte a poner en uso esos datos. Sabemos cómo hacer para que cada uno de esos paquetes de datos hablen uno con el otro e interpretarlos para contarte lo que necesitas saber para hacer avanzar tu negocio.”

  2. Nos comentaron proyectos de bodegas que están en proceso de diseñarse o que están a punto de empezar que pueden obtener información relevante de varias plataformas de datos de nuestro ecosistema. Algunos proyectos son de creación de viñedos, otros de enoturismo y hasta otros son de comercio online en estados concretos de Estados Unidos. Estamos contentos de ser el enlace entre esas bodegas y nuestros proveedores y partners de datos que mejor se adaptan para ayudarles, incluso en el caso de que los servicios de Enolytics ni siquiera se hayan requerido para conectar los dos lados.

  3. Escuchamos acerca de los ángulos muertos en los retrovisores que son los comportamientos de los consumidores finales entorno a los vinos de ciertas bodegas u organizaciones. Este no es un comentario nuevo o un enigma nuevo, pero estamos en un punto significativamente mejor ahora para responder a él sin cortapisas.

Y etc.

Lo sentimos como un progreso, lo que nos trajo una gran alegría.

Sentimos alegría en el trabajo en sí mismo. Hay alegría en contribuir a cosas que marcan una diferencia. Y habrá alegría parecida cambiando de marchas a superiores con éxito, con toda la carretera por delante.

Gracias, de verdad, por estar ahí en el viaje. Estamos entusiasmados de informar otra vez a medida que todo progrese.

Como siempre, por favor házmelo saber si tienes alguna pregunta o idea.
Cathy

The Thing We Don’t Do Well. And Yes, I’m Feeling Sheepish About It.

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Let me start this week with an admission that, frankly, has me feeling a little sheepish.

We (Enolytics, that is) are not so good yet at telling stories.

At telling the stories of wine + data, I mean, which is something that I feel sheepish about because, as a writer, storytelling is what I do. Or at least it should be.

The thing is that telling stories with words is different than telling stories with images. Visualizations are what gives data its unique flavor and advantage when it comes to influencing decisions in one direction or another.

We need some more practice at this.

Because it isn’t typically a visual of data per se that gets any of us up out of our chairs and running down the hall to convince our boss to do something, or even to run to the store and buy a bottle of wine.

What gets us up out of our chairs is that irresistible flash of NOW I GET IT. That flash happens when one part of what we understand strikes with another part, like a match head dragged along a surface followed by that satisfying sizzle.

That’s what happened to me this week, when I attended the International Institute for Analytics conference in Portland, Oregon. I was there to talk about “uncorking analytics” and how the wine industry is moving toward data-driven decisions. But fortunately, and happily, I was also able to sit in on other presentations that were happening throughout the day.

One in particular was given by Brent Dykes of DOMO, on the subject of “Mastering the Art and Science of Storytelling.” My takeaway from Brent’s presentation, the one that got me up out of my seat so to speak, was this:

The data to find the right insight may not be the right data to tell the story.

We work hard to analyze and interpret the data in order to deliver the right insight that is meaningful and helpful to you. That’s the match head.

But there’s also the way that we light that match, which is the surface we drag it against that makes you say NOW I GET IT.

They’re two different things. The insight itself, and the story that brings the story to life. The match head, and the surface.

You help us to start with data from the wine world (and about the wine world), but the insight and the story are on us. I’m personally looking forward to doing more of this, more effectively.

Thank you for reading, and for joining us on this journey. We learn more, and try to do better, every day.

Cathy

Magic, Step One and Magic, Step Two: Piecing Together the Puzzle of Wine + Data

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Think of putting together a puzzle.

First you need multiple pieces, each with their own shape and contour.

Then you start experimenting with how they fit together. Some are bigger, some are smaller. Some have straight edges, some are right smack in the middle of things.

One by one, and after some trial and error, you nestle the pieces together, using visual “clues” like color and imagery to see and feel what works best.

Eventually it comes together, and the final picture emerges into full view.

That’s exactly how it’s felt this week here at Enolytics, as we’ve been preparing for two conferences next week: the British Columbia Wine Industry Insight Conference on Tuesday in Penticton, and the International Institute for Analytics Conference on Wednesday in Portland, Oregon.

We thought of the presentation as a puzzle, one that would be of interest to the different audiences: “wine people” in BC, and “data people” in Portland.

We needed multiple pieces of the puzzle, so we reached out to our ecosystem of data partners and asked for their own, uniquely shaped and contoured “data pieces” that are relevant to BC and Oregon wine.

Some of those pieces are bigger, some are smaller. Some form the boundaries of the puzzle, and some are right smack in the middle of things.

This was the Magic, Step One: the willingness of data partners to pull specific, relevant data and add it to our puzzle. Getting to know the contours of these different data sets, and the different personalities of their owners, has been fascinating.

One by one, and by using “clues” like shared points of commonality, we’ve been working to nestle the pieces together.

That was the Magic, Step Two: the seams where different data pieces meet, and seeing the bigger picture evolve when multiple sets of data merge, side by side.

I can’t wait to present this process, and these steps, and the end results. In the meantime, I am deeply grateful to our partners who support the vision, who continue doing what they do, who keep shaping their own pieces of the puzzle.

It adds up to something special.

Will you be attending either of those conferences next week? Or Prowein in Düsseldorf, next weekend? Please let me know. I’d be psyched to connect IRL.

Thank you, as always, for reading –

Cathy

The Head Tilt Question, When It’s More DATA than Wine

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When Enolytics is recognized by colleagues or media in the wine industry for what we do, it’s always a boost both commercially and emotionally.

When we’re recognized for what we do by people outside the wine industry, however, it’s always a little bit of a head tilt sideways.

As in, “Hmm. Now that’s interesting.”

That’s what’s happening this month, as I look ahead to travel and conference presentations where we have the opportunity to share our work with colleagues within the industry, and outside of it as well.

The biggest surprise of the itinerary, for this month and later this year as well, are invitations that arrived from the analytics and data community. They aren’t wine people, but they’re curious about how we’re using “their” expertise and applying it to wine.

It’s a little bit of a head tilt of their own.

(Which I love.)

Here are three such opportunities this month alone. The middle one, in British Columbia, aligns most directly with what we do. The other two tilt a little sideways, in the best ways.

*****

WHAT: Wonder Women of Wine Conference

WHERE: Austin, Texas

WHEN: March 2 and 3

WHY: I’ve been asked to join the “Ready for Liftoff” panel about women entrepreneurs in the industry, alongside Jenny Lefcourt of Jenny & Francois Selections, Mary Derby of DAMA Wines, Julia Dixon of The Gravity Imports, and Amy Bess Cook of WOW Sonoma.

TAKEAWAY: There’s a lot of hype around the statistics of venture capital for women (paltry) and the multiplicity of challenges for female founders (mostly spot-on). Yet women entrepreneurs, and tech-focused entrepreneurs, are making it happen in the wine industry regardless.

 *****

WHAT: British Columbia Wine Industry Insight Conference

WHERE: Penticton, British Columbia

WHEN: March 12

WHY: How can the BC wine industry can benefit from big data? That’s the question they’re asking in the Okanagan Valley. I’ll be thrilled to share some thoughts on a response, and revisit a region I previously enjoyed tremendously.

TAKEAWAY: A major theme in my presentation is to shine the spotlight on a variety of data partners and platforms within our ecosystem, who the BC wine community can tap in to. The more pieces of the data puzzle we can put together, the more comprehensive and beneficial the picture becomes. In the BC region, that is, and as a model for others.

*****

WHAT: International Institute for Analytics Conference

WHERE: Portland, Oregon

WHEN: March 13

WHY: The title of the session says it all, I think. “Uncorking Analytics: Moving the Wine Industry Towards Data-Driven Decisions.” Yes, it’s the last session of the day and yes, wine will be poured. But the audience? Data people, inside and out, who spend their working lives thinking about analytics and visualizations.

SPECIAL NOTE: The day before, the Institute has scheduled a Women in Analytics Networking happy hour. Sign me up.

*****

Any chance you’re going to be attending any of these events? Please let me know. I’d be psyched to talk IRL.

Thank you for reading, as always —

Cathy

Data + Wine + Love: The Entrepreneurial Team at the Heart of Enolytics

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By the time you read this, Valentine’s Day will be over and we’ll all be moving onto the next thing.

But first I wanted to pause that momentum for a minute, and pull back the curtain a little bit on the people of Enolytics who comprise our data leadership team. As I thought this week about why I love them, and why I love what they bring to Enolytics, it seemed to say something significant about the innovation and effectiveness of an entrepreneurial team in the wine world.

The “surface” way to read the descriptions below is as a pretty simple love fest around this team’s qualities. Which, okay, it is. But look just a little closer, and you’ll also see the impact of these qualities that enable Enolytics to do the projects we do and to gain the traction we have.

I am grateful for that, and especially for them. Here’s why.

CHRIS is the co-founder of Enolytics and my mentor in business, especially as it relates to operations, financial decisions, and contracts. There would be no infrastructure without him, nor would we be fiscally viable without his direction. He is a very tough negotiator, which I have come to recognize is driven by a desire to value and protect the output of this team. The fierceness of his loyalty manifests in our business decisions, and it buoys this ship.

CLAUDIA, through her quiet and determined leadership, has just been formally recognized as a luminary in the field of data science and visualization. It’s something that I personally want to shout from the rooftops on her behalf, since she would never do so herself. She plans to use that recognition to support the development of other women in technology. This isn’t some pie-in-the-sky ideal; she has a plan and, believe me, when Claudia has a plan, things happen and they happen smartly. She relentlessly seeks to improve and to learn and to keep doing better, which repeatedly lights the fire of inspiration for me.

It’s completely inappropriate, no doubt, to say that I have a crush on RON. But I have a crush on Ron. What can I say? I have always liked smart people and Ron is so smart that even Google has been compelled to take over his screen and challenge his abilities. (Did you know that that actually happens? I didn’t. Until it happened to Ron.) His brain is vast. I have not once seen Ron unable to find a solution to a technical problem that comes his way. But he doesn’t only find a solution, it’s the right solution and it is solid.

These are the people who comprise the data leadership team at the heart of Enolytics. If I’m the public face of the business, they are its muscle and bone and blood.

I wanted to take the occasion of Valentine’s Day to recognize them here, and to give you a look “under the hood” of what it’s taken us to build this enterprise of Enolytics.

Thank you, as always, for reading –

Cathy

Depletion Data Case Study: Insights from Within the Winery Itself

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Let me start with the two questions that we’ve been working on for wineries this week:

  1. How can I use the data I already have?

  2. What can I learn from my depletion data specifically?

Now let’s look at the “sub questions,” or the subtext, that are driving those two main questions:

  1. How can I maximize my own resources, so I don’t have to spend a ton of money to figure out the data thing?

  2. My reality is that I need to make the same presentation to distributors over and over, just in different markets. Can I template that presentation, but change out the variables when I need to?

Fair enough, right? And maybe they even sound familiar, or are topics you could relate to, yourself.

So let’s take them one at a time.

Using the Data You Already Have

A winery already has data, probably quite a lot of it in fact, including depletions, ecommerce sales, viticultural analysis, location inventory and FOB changes.

The benefit of all this data? You already own it, so you don’t have to go out and pay someone else to provide it. If you could export it to an Excel or csv file, then we can start to work with it.

That’s the foundation.

The next step is using your data, which is where we come in as we start to work with the spreadsheets. Our team cleans the data, packages it, and then visualizes it in a dynamic and interactive dashboard.

Using Depletion Data Specifically

Let’s take one example – depletion data – and how this actually looks. The image above is a screenshot from a dashboard that we’re developing.

Here are four things to notice:

  1. This is just one screen, and one visualization, taken from one set of data. There are practically innumerable iterations of what you can visualize.

  2. Notice the various fields, like those running down the left-hand side of the image. These are dynamic, which means that if you click on any of the fields, the visualization to the right changes to reflect your selection. Filter by distributor, for example, and the visualization of performance adjusts to the distributor you’ve selected. Filter by state, as this example is, and the visualization adjusts to California, say, or Georgia (shown here).

  3. Notice the colors, which indicate in this case different wines, which makes it easy to see variations in volume. Green for cabernet sauvignon, for example, blue for chardonnay, and so on.

  4. The trend line, which is the bottom chart, shows rolling twelve-month analysis. This removes seasonality from the equation, which gives you a more comprehensive view of your performance over time, as opposed to being overly influenced by performance during, say, Q4.

You can start to see, I think, how you can build a template for the presentations you need to make again and again, as I mentioned at the top. The key is being able to select the fields according to what you need to know, and in which market.

It’s up to you. It happens dynamically. And you can drive the dashboard to where you need it to go.

Does that make sense?

Please let me know. We’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions for how this could be useful to you.

Thank you for reading, as always –

Cathy

This Was One of the Hardest Things I’ve Ever Done. Here’s Why It Was Worth It. (Probably.)

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Not gonna lie.

It was tough.

Catching and holding the attention of 45 students at a time, last week in Bordeaux, as part of an MBA program in wine business. My commitment was for nine hours with one group of 45 students and then to repeat those nine hours, back to back, for another 45 students.

I tried. My goodness, I tried. And I did not always succeed.

Not gonna lie about that either.

But I’m writing about it today as a follow up to an Enolytics 101 post a few weeks ago about “gifting” these students, and other wine business students I’ll teach this year, with a year’s worth of access to a very powerful data visualization platform called Qlik.

How did that go?

It caught their interest. Which, as I wrote above, was really hard to do. But this did. I wanted to share a few reasons why, because I think they say a lot about the next generation of wine business professionals. Specifically, I think these reasons speak to both the promises and the challenges that these people face as they step into their roles at wine businesses around the world.

Here goes, in terms of what caught students’ interest about the data visualization module of the class:

  • They have a chance to do something that other people in their companies don’t know how to do. They can learn a tool that adds unique value. And they can learn it for free.

  • The European Union itself has already bought into big data for the wine industry, namely by funding a project called Big Data Grapes that’s part of the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. (Sidebar: My talking about this project raised eyebrows. Literally. The students were surprised in part, I think, because the funding of the project “brought it home” to their own backyards. I wasn’t up there talking about something that was happening in some far-off hub of technology that has no bearing on the lives and the world that’s most familiar to them. This was real, it’s within reach, and it could impact them directly.)

  • Innovation in wine business can have social impact too, whether the innovation impacts communities in crises or small, family-run businesses or the under-representation of women in the industry.

  • 90% of all information is consumed visually. 70% of all sensory receptors are in the eyes. And 30% of the brain’s processing power is dedicated to sight.

Is it easy to catch and hold the interest of young professionals in the wine business? Nope. But if you can, and when you do, their imaginations take off.

Watching that happen comes close – real close – to compensating for how exhausting the efforts are in the first place.

Can you relate to what I’m talking about here? Have you had similar experiences? I’d love to hear.

Thank you, as always, for reading.

Cathy

How Any of Us Can Start the Wine + Data Analysis Journey, for Free

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Last week Cathy wrote about the Qlik Continuing Classroom, and how she’s introducing it for the first time to MBA students she’s teaching in Bordeaux. For one year, at no cost to them, students can access the Qlik platform and its educational resources, and even become a certified practitioner of the technology.

This week I wanted to step in and talk to a different audience – to the people in our community who aren’t currently students – about the same message: How to access free tools that jumpstart the data journey.

Because we believe in empowering wine businesses of all sizes to do something with their data.

We believe that the more people we can educate about the power of data-driven visualizations for business intelligence, the more it will elevate the industry as a whole.

We believe that data is for everybody, whether you’re a student and just starting out, or you’re wanting to add a new and valuable skill, or you’re an experienced professional looking for a new challenge that will add value and interest to your work.

As the co-founder and COO of Enolytics, I’m going to do something I probably shouldn’t be doing, and that’s to tell you that “doing something with your data” doesn’t necessarily mean hiring Enolytics.

Many of you are already perfectly capable of mining and visualizing your own data. You just need some help getting started.

Which brings me to why I’m writing Enolytics 101 this week.

I want you to know that there are a lot of resources that take the mystery out of data.

Most of you use Excel for handling your data but, in our opinion, Excel lacks the ability to dynamically visualize your data in the most useful and effective ways. Yes, you can make charts! But they are static. When you have additional questions, you need to create another table and another chart. That’s possible, but very time consuming.

So how do you get started? Without spending any money, the way the students have the opportunity to do? How do you start viewing your data in a way that enables you to make meaningful business decisions?

Many Business Intelligence vendors (like Qlik, Tableau, Microsoft PowerBI, etc.) offer free desktop versions of their products. It gives you a good start as you can basically do all functions on your own computer.

Check out:

  • Qlik. This is a desktop version of Qlik Sense (for Windows Users) that is free for personal and internal business use. It is also our recommendation. If you have a Mac, we suggest you install Parallels or VMWare so you can run it in a Windows environment. You can also use the Cloud version, QlikSense Cloud for free. Cloud has somewhat more limited functionality (probably still more than what you would normally need) but it will allow you to share with up to five users, and it can also run on moblie devices. You are, however, limited in the size of data files you upload. Remember to use Youtube as a resource to learn all about how to use it. There are plenty of tutorials.

  • Tableau. You’re limited by the amount of rows, and you can only connect Excel or text files. Also, and this is important, anything you save in Tableau Public will be saved on the Tableau Public Sever, which anyone can download. So there is no confidentiality there. Tableau is a great visualization platform but we wouldn’t recommend the free version for the reasons just mentioned.

  • Power BI. This is definitely an up-and-coming platform with beautiful visualization options. There’s also plenty of information about it available on YouTube and throughout the internet to get you going. It’s also fairly easy to use and has a free version (like Qlik Sense).

If you have a bit of computer savvy and you’d like to give data management and visualization a shot, these should be a good start for you.

If there’s enough interest, Enolytics would be happy to host a User Group where everyone can help each other out, ask questions and suggest ideas.

At a certain point father into the journey, yes, it will probably make sense to bring in data scientists with more experience and deeper expertise. And we hope at that point you’ll consider hiring Enolytics, whether you want to incorporate external data or build something with more moving parts. Until then, there’s a whole lot of ground you can cover on your own.

Tell us what you think. We’re listening, and encouraging the journey.

We never wanted Enolytics to be just another for-profit company in the wine industry. We know the power of data, and how it can be put to use for good. If “for good” in this case means empowering the wine community to work smarter and more efficiently, we want to help.

Thank you,

Chris

Empowering the Next Generation of Wine + Data Leaders: Announcing a Very Special Gift

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Say “data” to most people in the wine industry, and they think about numbers and spreadsheets.

When I say “data” in the context of Enolytics, I think about images and visualizations.

The gap between those two assumptions is key, we believe, to making sense – and making productive use – of the vast amounts of information that’s available to us today.

Imagine transforming numbers to images, and spreadsheets to visualizations. Imagine seeing patterns and trends that are otherwise invisible. Imagine being able to read the stories about your wine business that numbers hide.

This isn’t some pipe dream. Let me share an example of why not.

Next week I’ll be returning to INSEEC Business School in Bordeaux to teach a course to MBA students that encompasses three topics: entrepreneurship, narrative and data for wine.

One of the most critical building blocks for the data module of the course needs, IMO, to empower the students to do exactly what I’m discussing here: to see patterns and trends that will help whatever wine business they join after graduation.

It’s critical, I think, to show them that this isn’t a pipe dream.

It’s critical to put that tool into their hands, along with the confidence to use it.

How do I expect to do that?

By sharing one of the very same tools that Enolytics’ data team uses, that I demonstrated in a case study last week. It’s called Qlik and, for the first time in my teaching schedule, I’ll be offering access to students through the Qlik Academic Program, at no charge to them.

How do students benefit from this? They will have:

  • Access to the software

  • Access to the Continuous Classroom online learning platform, including a Data Analytics curriculum

  • The opportunity to earn a Qlik Sense Qualification

  • Access to a community forum and customer support

They’ll have the luxury of a full year of access, which is plenty of time to get the lay of the land of a powerful data visualization platform.

They’ll see that transforming numbers to images isn’t some pipe dream.

They’ll start learning to read the stories of wine business that are contained within industry data.

Who knows what else they’ll do with this tool in their toolkit?

I have no idea. But I’m stoked to find out.

So what’s the bottom line here?

That the wine industry will benefit from more people working in wine who GET the power of data. We’ll benefit from more people who are empowered to bridge the gap between “data as spreadsheets” and “data as visualizations.”

Working with data doesn’t have to be a mystery. It doesn’t have to be an exclusive club that only some people and some companies can access.

The more people in the boat, the better. Which is why I’ll be bringing the same access to universities wherever I teach, anywhere in the world. Bologna, Cambridge (both in Massachusetts and England), Adelaide, Cape Town, Sonoma…? I’m looking at you, for starters.

I look forward, sincerely, to that. And to sharing with you next week how the first steps in this direction are taking shape.

Any questions or comments? Let me know, as always.

Thank you, also as always, for reading.

Case Study for Wine + Data: How It Actually Works

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“We already have lots of our own data. The problem is that we don’t really know what to do with it, or how to interpret what it says. So how can we use data to move our business forward?”

That’s the refrain, time and again, that we’ve been hearing lately, particularly in the last six months of 2018. Sometimes it’s operational data, sometimes it’s DTC data, sometimes it’s viticultural data. The common denominator is that the data’s going unused.

Maybe you can relate. You’ve been in business awhile, you know you’ve been accumulating data about your business, but how do you transition from HAVING the data to USING the data?

This week I’d like to shine the spotlight on the process, to illustrate in detail how this actually looks in practice. The steps below reflect our work with small to midsize wineries, though the process is similar for larger projects as well.

1. Make the decision to share the data outside your own walls.

You’ve worked incredibly hard for your data, especially if we’re talking about customer lists and sales records. We respect that, deeply. That’s why we have protocols in place to keep your data safe, and why we’re contractually forbidden from using the data without your consent for any reason other than your specific project.

Still, it’s a mental shift that needs to happen on your side first.

2. Send us a sample file of the data you want to maximize.

Typically we receive data in spreadsheet format, as Excel or csv files. Send us a sample file – 100 lines, say – that’s characteristic of what you’re looking at on a day-to-day basis. Make it relevant to your bottom line. Make it relevant to the questions you want answered. Let it reflect the areas of your business that you think you can maximize for performance.

We’ll have questions, undoubtedly, about what you send. We’ll come back to you for clarifications, especially around the KPIs that you want to track. And we’ll explain what we think is possible given the parameters of what you’ve sent.

3. Give us time to massage the data.

If or when we decide to move forward, and after you send more complete files, we’ll need some time to work with it. Usually this means “massaging” or “transforming the data,” which is an analytics term that means cleaning and standardizing it into a regular format. Then we package it and visualize it through an interactive dashboard that is built around the KPIs that you’ve designated.

4. Visualize.

The more people I talk to about their data, the more convinced I am that visualizing it is a key step in this process.

When most people think “data,” they think numbers and spreadsheets. When I think data in terms of Enolytics, I think images and visualizations.

The image at the top of this post is an example. We’re working with a winery now who went through steps one to three; it’s step four, however, where the data comes to life.

We built a dashboard using their sales data (anonymized here, of course) and the scatter chart you see is one of the ways we can visualize all those numbers in all those spreadsheets. What you see is sales volume plotted along the bottom, revenue along the left side, and wine names along the right side. The size of the bubble represents the price of the wine.

First thing to notice? This is a lot easier to read than a spreadsheet of numbers.

Second thing? This image happens to show two years worth of sales data. We could easily and dynamically narrow what’s visualized to just October-November-December, say, or to just red wines or etc.

Third thing? The top half of the graph and in particular the top right quadrant of the graph is where you’d like all your wines to be. What about that cluster of wines in the bottom left, then? They are unpopular and don’t generate much revenue, which means you have some decisions to make.

Maybe you consider dropping those wines from your portfolio and focusing instead on the wines in the upper right quadrant. Maybe you experiment with a shipment of those wines to your club members, and track popularity and re-orders. Maybe those are the wines that need more of your marketing attention. Or etc.

The point is that this is what you can do with the data you already have. Visualizing it is an important step in interpreting it, so that you can actually use the data to move your business forward.

Does that make sense?

Please let me know. We’d love your thoughts, and to hear how this strikes you.

Thank you, as always, for reading.

You Are the Reason We're Here: A Look Back at 2018

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As I’ve been thinking about this last Enolytics 101 post of 2018, on the status of our work in wine + data, something kept itching at the back of my neck.

For a long time I couldn’t figure out what it was. Something incongruous. Something that didn’t match up.

It had to do with big data, and what we’ve learned this year during the day to day operations of our business.

My attention kept lingering on the “big” of big data, and eventually I realized what was bugging me.

Big data is, actually, small.

I mean “small” partly in the sense of micro decisions. Those micro decisions are what we analyze when consumers choose to engage digitally about wine, and create the digital trail that we follow. Yes, they’re micro but micro multiplied by millions of wine drinkers all around the world, one at a time, still adds up to big.

I mean “small” too in the sense of choices that make up the momentum of big data, and this community. The choices you make to open these emails every week, for example; it takes just a minute or two to read but your consistency in opening the emails helps to steer the content.

It’s also the choice to start the conversation one on one when your interest is piqued, or to push our capabilities with a challenge we haven’t grappled with yet.

That’s what happened most of all.

We are grateful for that most of all. To grapple with data in a way that makes sense for our industry. And to channel data, to put it to work so that it makes your business better.

That’s what we’re after: to serve the wine industry with data-based insights.

2018 has been an amazing year for that. We’ve made progress. We’ve taken strides in the right direction, right alongside you.

Thank you for that. Truly. 

You are the reason we're here.

We wish you a peaceful and restful holiday season. See you again, right here, in 2019.

Sincerely,

Cathy

Enolytics in the Global Press, with Our Gratitude

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The most exciting thing so far about launching Enolytics has been watching people take the idea of “data + wine” and run with it, in a way that makes sense to them.

So far, when I’ve spoken about “the people” taking the idea and running with it, I've been referring to other wine people. Winery owners and CEOs, for example, and brand managers and marketing professionals.

This week, however, I’d like to share another perspective of “the people” who have interpreted “data + wine” for Enolytics, and that’s been members of the press.

Just as the concept of Enolytics means different things to different wine people around the world (as I wrote in Enolytics 101 last time), it also means different things to different journalists around the world.

What do they all have in common?

The interpretations are varied and dynamic and inventive, and they’re driving an incredibly exciting wave of momentum. The “hooks” that the different writers have found meaningful point directly to possibilities on the horizon.

Here are three different examples of that from the past month. One of the examples is based in Germany, and takes a global perspective. One is based in Cape Town, and is focused on South Africa. Add one is local to Enolytics’ home base in Atlanta, by a platform that covers startups and the VC community in the southeastern US.

***

Outlet: Meininger’s Wine Business International

Location: Germany

Hook: Big Data on the Rise, and for Enolytics specifically:

  • Growth and evolution of the business idea

  • Ecosystem of data partners, combined with a wine business’ own data

  • Application by client: Competitive edge of knowing consumer behavior and sentiment, beyond trade information

  • Application by client: Data insights pressures global partners to be more on top of the client’s own business

***

Outlet: Global Africa Network

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Hook: Consumer data analysis to grow wine and food tourism, especially:

  • Meeting consumers where they are

  • Qualitative and quantitative data analyses are complementary to each other

  • Benefits of aggregating multiple sources

  • Consumer experience is about emotion, not function

***

Outlet: Hypepotamus

Location: Atlanta

Hook: Wine + tech in the startup scene, namely:

  • Identifying the market opportunity for Enolytics

  • Expansion of the concept to Enolytics Spain

  • Steady growth of a scalable product that the industry will bear

  • The rationale for turning down offers of investment

This quote from the last example captures it, I think:

“We’re just so excited about how once we put it out there, people all around the world — from South Africa to Chile to Asia to New Zealand to Italy and France — have taken the idea and said, this is how it would be useful to us.”

We are grateful for this media attention, naturally, and we are grateful that there are so many aspects of the business that are of interest. We look forward to more conversations, and more developments, in the nearest future.

Thank you, as always, for reading.

Cathy

The Cultural Code of Data for Wine, All Around the World

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How many frequent flier miles does it take to do data + wine?

That’s a rhetorical question (obviously) but one that’s crossed my mind a few times these past months. I love to travel and recently my journeys have involved speaking with wineries and organizations about their data.

What I’ve noticed is how closely their questions about data reflect the more global questions and concerns that are currently impacting their commercial interests.

It’s an alignment of micro and macro if there ever was one.

This week I’d like to take a moment to share a sampling of the questions we’re hearing from all around the world, along with the bigger-issue "why" concerns that go along with them.

Chile

Data Question: Behavior and sentiment patterns of consumers in Asia

Why: China and Japan have quickly emerged as priority markets for Chilean producers, thanks in no small part to favorable trade agreements negotiated by their government.

South Africa

Data Question: Viticultural, particularly around the terroirs of their older vines

Why: Interest in South African old vines has been surging as awareness of their unique history and value becomes better studied and understood.

California

Data Question: Packaging and visualizing the DTC data that wineries already have

Why: Profit margins are higher when wine is sold DTC.

México

Data Question: County-specific consumption and sentiment patterns, especially of their own wines in relation to foreign wines

Why: Renewed interest in the domestic market, and refreshed pride of ownership of domestic wineries.

Spain and the US

Data Question: Consumption and sentiment patterns around spirits and craft beer, respectively

Why: Data is data, and consumers are consumers. The way we work with wine data is transferrable to the way we work with spirits and beer data as well.

It’s an incredibly exciting moment. As I’ve written before, Enolytics now is not what we thought Enolytics would be, even six months ago. That’s because the conversation keeps evolving, as we continue to build out proofs of concept that demonstrate the value of working with data.

It’s also because this community has IDEAS. Lots of them.

Thank you for that.

Please let me know if something here strikes a chord and you’d like to talk. I’m listening.

— Cathy

PS To everyone in the US who will be celebrating the holiday next week, Happy Thanksgiving! We'll see you back here in two weeks, on Friday, November 30, for the last few posts of 2018.

I Asked for Your Help, and Here’s What Happened: A "Scarily Accurate" Recap from Cape Town, South Africa

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I felt a little bit like a carrier pigeon.

Standing in front of the audience, that is, at the Business of Wine and Food Tourism Conference in South Africa last week, held at Spier Wine Farm in Stellenbosch. I was honored to deliver the keynote, where I focused on two things: how we can use data to improve tourism in wine and food, and learnings from last year’s California wildfires, particularly in Sonoma.

This community — you — responded with an outpouring of suggestions, so much so that I felt like that carrier pigeon, full of information, flying across hemispheres.

Shout outs here (and there!) to Honore Comfort of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University, Sandra Hess of DTC Wine Workshops, Michael Longerbeam and Sara Rathbun at Dry Creek Vineyard, David Gluzman at the Global Wine Database, and the team at 3x3 Insights in New York.

Thank you.

Mainly I spoke about data, and how our work at Enolytics — bolstered by our ecosystem of data partners — can be useful for increasing business in the areas of wine and food tourism. I’d like to focus this week on one very significant takeaway that I heard in response to the presentation, immediately afterward and in the time since.

“There’s a big gap between data and how to use it.”

We all have data. Actually, we have tons and tons of data. But, as a delegate from the audience admitted, he never looks at it. It’s just spreadsheets that he receives day in and day out. There’s no interpretation or “translation” or application to the work that’s in front of him to do.

That’s the gap, and it’s a big problem when data is just numbers. What does it mean? More importantly, what does it mean for you, and your work, and achieving the goals that you are working toward?

Answering those questions is what we do.

We interpret it in a way that, as another delegate and winemaker tweeted, is “scarily accurate” for the reality of wine.

Could you use some help on this front? Do you have data that you know is valuable in some way, but are having a hard time seeing the forest for the trees?

That’s what we do, and we’re here to help. Drop me a line anytime, at cathy@enolytics.com or +1.702.528.3717.

I look forward to hearing from you, and thank you as always for reading —

Cathy

If We Didn't Collaborate, We Wouldn't Have a Reason to Exist

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Let me start with Thanks.

Last week I asked for your feedback and input on data sources in the areas of wine and food tourism, in advance of the keynote I’m giving in a few weeks in Cape Town. And boy, did you deliver! It’s incredibly exciting to flesh out the presentation with hands-on learnings from fresh sources and efforts in parts of the world that, frankly, were brand new to me.

So thank you, sincerely.

That example sets the stage perfectly for what I’d like to focus on this week, and it has to do with collaboration.

If we didn’t collaborate, we wouldn’t have a reason to exist.

That’s because the true definition of a big data company is to aggregate multiple sources of data across multiple platforms. For us that means building out an ecosystem of data partners who each deliver raw data that’s useful for our clients. In some cases it’s a winery’s own data that’s one of the sources.

As I said, it’s about collaboration.

In practice, and in a very simplified sense, this is how it works.

  1. Listen to the client. Understand intimately the area of research.

  2. Draft a scope of work.

  3. Iterate the scope, from both sides, in order to extract maximum value and to clarify expectations.

  4. Execute the scope of work.

  5. Enolytics delivers the results, via Webinar or in person

  6. Give the client time to process the results, within their own framework for business and at their own pace.

  7. Client asks follow up questions.

  8. Enolytics responds.

  9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 till the area of scoped research is well understood.

Want to see how this looks, from the perspective of our clients? Please have a look at our revised Press page for their opinions in their own words.

Here’s what’s important to understand: Collaboration isn’t a one-time interaction. It’s a partnership, back and forth, over a fairly long period of time with a lot of touchpoints.

Yes, we’ll get to know each other personally. Yes, we’ll explore ideas that will be new on all sides. And yes, both of our businesses will grow in the process.

How can we help you grow? What ideas have been percolating, that you’re ready to move on?

We’re here and ready to respond, collaboratively.

Thank you, again, for your help and thank you, as always, for reading.

Wine Data Success = Qualitative + Quantitative Analysis

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“We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us.”

I don’t know who said that originally, but it’s been on my mind these past few weeks as I’ve had the chance to see how quantitative data analysis – which is Enolytics’ focus – complements and adds onto qualitative data analysis.

It’s worth taking a moment to pause here, and underscore what this means.

For many decades now, the wine industry has relied on qualitative research, like surveys and focus groups and in-person, face-to-face interviews.

This style of research is incredibly valuable, and it’s grounded in well-established, well-executed social science. There’s a reason why so many research efforts, and so many decisions in our industry have long been based on these methods of analysis.

I respect that. Our team respects that. It’s foundational, and we value the ongoing contributions it makes.

What we also value is that, today, there’s a flip side of the coin, and that’s the quantitative research that is our focus. Big data is possible because of technology, and because millions of consumers around the world are telling us, in an objective way and digitally, what they think and how they feel about wine, every moment of every day.

We respect that too, especially as we continue to grow and explore and are presented with opportunities to see how the quantitative style of analysis can dynamically interact with the qualitative style. How they reflect each other. How they build upon each other. How they differ. Where the breaks are, and what the limitations and advantages are of each side of the break.

Quantitative data, as a first step, could help us to figure out the what: what consumers consider to be your competitive set, for example, and what kind of traction you’re seeing in markets from New York to Chicago to Los Angeles. It helps you to see the problem areas, and also what questions to ask.

Qualitative data, subsequently, could help us to figure out the why: why consumers in Cincinnati are raving about your chardonnay, and why interest in your pinot has dropped in Houston.

Does that make sense?

It’s an exciting intersection of collaboration, and we’re psyched to be part of it. Personally, I’m psyched to share more with you in the coming weeks about the hands-on practicalities of this.

These are opportunities to build bridges between how things have always been done, and how they can be complemented by new layers and common points of engagement.

If you find yourself comfortable in the “how things have always been done” part, we get it. And we aren’t suggesting you abandon it. We are suggesting that there are ways to add on, a step at a time, that can also be within your comfort zone.

Let’s take the first steps. Please be in touch, and let me know what’s on your mind.

Thank you, as always, for reading.