Selling the best beers and making people happy
AB InBev uses its revamped IT architecture to enable a variety of use cases, all in service of the company’s stated goals of selling the best beers and making people happy. Several projects have been deployed in the first year that we launched the data platform and hundreds of new data projects are in the pipeline.
It all starts with better product development. Data helps AB InBev understand how it can help farmers grow the best crops that are used to produce the best beers. For example, says Singh: “Water is a critical component. How much water should farmers put in the soil? If there’s a major climate risk in a region, it’s our social responsibility to stop brewing beer and instead deliver water to people.”
Data also helps the company understand drinker tastes and behaviours better. For example, AB InBev uses it to analyze new demands from consumers for low-calorie beers and determine preferences for beers according to seasonality. AB InBev collects and aggregates consumer data from Nielsen and market surveys, and near-real-time data from social media, to analyze trends and deliver the right beers and more highly targeted marketing campaigns, such as real- time coupons at point of purchase tailored to the right consumers.
“Our customers are shops and bars,” says Singh.“Data helps improve their experience with our brand. Before, working with each store to get data wasn’t possible. Now, they can order beers through mobile apps, and we can see data in real time to optimize demand forecasting and assortments. Data- driven marketing also means we can analyze the behavior of shoppers in stores, and use the metrics gathered to identify the best location in the store to sell beers, as well as how to create real-time events to drive more conversion.”
According to Singh, data is also important for supply chain optimization. “How can we make sure deliveries arrive on time, with the right quality, and at the right cost? How can we make more deliveries?” To find those answers, AB InBev ingests IoT data from RFID devices to track the full lifecycle of “connected packages” from brewery to delivery in order to find the best routes
for delivery drivers. AB InBev also uses IoT technology to monitor the temperature in millions of beer coolers around the world to ensure their product is being stored and served at the optimum temperature. And they make quick decisions on how many pallets of beer to send to a specific sporting event based on historical data now stored in the data hub.
“We believe data discovery is important,” says Singh. “Previously, internal users had to spend some 80 percent of their time locating and consolidating relevant data, which left only 20 percent for analyzing it and making a decision. Now, using Talend Data Preparation, they spend only about 30 percent of their time gathering data and can spend 70 percent analyzing it and making better-informed decisions.”