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Getting Started with a Data Program

Begin Your Journey into
Data & Analytics for Your Brewery

Taking the First Steps to Unlock Insights and Optimize Your Business


Understanding the value of data and analytics in the brewery industry
Data and analytics have become essential tools in the brewery industry. By collecting and analyzing relevant data, breweries can gain valuable insights into their operations, customer preferences, and market trends. This information enables them to make more informed decisions, optimize their processes, and ultimately increase profitability.

Debunking the myth that "going data" is intimidating or complicated:
Many people assume that diving into the world of data and analytics is overwhelming or requires advanced technical skills. However, with the right approach and guidance, even small breweries can easily harness the power of data. It can be very beneficial to partner with an analytics guide as you are getting started instead of trying to do it all on your own.

Data Collection Made Easy: Building a Solid Foundation

Set clear objectives for data collection
Define specific goals for your brewery and focus on data needed to achieve those instead of trying to ‘boil the ocean’ as you start

• Understand and improve margins where possible without impacting demand

• Understand demand patterns to make sure you are brewing what your customers want to drink

• Monitor inventory to stay in the sweet spot between too little and too much

Inventory and start with what you already have
All of your current transactions systems and storing data that you can access : POS, ERP, Financial, Survey, Email, Other internal data (headcount, production tracking, etc)

Identify gaps to bridge in future
Generally, you won’t have access to everything you need right out of the gate, but that is OK, identify what you will need in the future and prioritize

• Items don’t match between POS and Wholesale systems

• You don’t have a hierarchy built (beer types, customer groups)

• Not sure how to get the right detail out of financial system

Data Analysis: Gaining Insights without Being Overwhelmed

Start focused and embrace simplicity
As you are starting out, make sure you keep things focused and under control so it is manageable and people aren’t overwhelmed.

• Select a few key performance indicators (KPIs) to track initially

• Gradually expand your analysis as you gain confidence and expertise

• Don’t make things overly complex, simple is beautiful and effective

Take Advantage of a Guide to Jump Start
Understanding that your team is best at brewing and selling beer and not analytics, it can be extremely helpful to invest in an analytics guide to help implement your analytics system that your team can then take over in the future. This can save several months and frustration and get you insights immediately.

Data-Driven Decision Making: Practical Steps to Transform Insights into Action

Set realistic and achievable goals
Identify quick wins to boost confidence and momentum; as people see the value of analytics, they will jump on board.

Prioritize actions based on potential impact and feasibility. As you start to uncover insights, there will initially be a lot of ‘low hanging fruit’ (lots of benefit for little effort) … focus on these projects and actions!

Establish a data-driven culture in your brewery
Communicate the value of data-driven decision making to your team by using real examples how insights you are finding and actions your taking.

Encourage employees to contribute ideas and feedback based on data. Reward people for using data instead of ‘gut feel’ when making decisions.

Monitor progress and iterate
Track the impact of your data-driven decisions on KPIs and celebrate your wins with your team.

Modern analytics is meant to be flexible and iterative. Refine your strategies and goals based on lessons learned.

Wrap Up

Data and analytics programs shouldn’t just be for the ‘corporate’ breweries … breweries of every shape and size can take advantage of analytics to help optimize their business and make them more profitable. Think of an analytics program as a journey that you want your whole team to be engaged in and embedded in the DNA of your business. Especially as you are starting out, look for the support and guidance of an analytics professional to take you from ground floor to the penthouse in no time flat… the sky is the limit!

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