Enabling Data-Driven Decisions at a Large Alcoholic Beverage Company

A large alcoholic beverage company oversees the import and distribution of many high-end spirits. The company sells through hundreds of thousands of on-premise and off-premise locations across the United States, and they engage in multiple types of marketing campaigns to promote their products. 

Initially, the company wanted to combine their sales data and marketing spend into a cohesive dashboard to understand which campaigns yielded the best returns. Our team recognized that the organization had bigger ambitions than just building a few dashboards; they needed strategic guidance on how to support a consolidated reporting and analytics platform that the entire organization could use. 

Discovery & Project Plan

Our team analyzed current systems, processes, and data to map out the organization’s current and desired state and to create a prioritized project project plan. During the discovery phase, we found that the company’s data warehouse, master data management processes, and infrastructure couldn’t support their reporting and analytics requirements. 

We selected a robust tech stack and designed the architecture for the solution. We then kicked off the project by setting up the infrastructure to build a new data warehouse. Next, the team had to get all of the relevant tools online, which included SSIS, SSAS for Tabular, MDS, Power BI, and quilliup.

Solution

Consolidating data for a single source of truth

At the start of the project, the organization used Excel for about 80% of internal data and had no automation set up to facilitate data analysis on a continuous basis. The first phase of the project included a small subset of data sources centered around sales volumes. We added more data sources from marketing and finance, and focused on building integrated views highlighting ROI that could show how the data, and consequently the insights, tie together.  

The company could then see their own and their competitors’ market performance in a single flow and dashboard. Users could drill in from high level to more granular views of a specific product in an account at the click of a button. 

The next phase of the project augmented the initial volume reporting with dollar amounts (since high-volume sales do not necessarily lead to profitable margins), and compared them to operational plans. The sales team’s performance is tracked versus the plan, so we built reports that enable users to instantly see where their brand, team, or market was compared to the plan, and the competition across volume and value sales.

Executive Overview dashboard

Next, our team finalized an Executive Overview for the CEO and high-level management.  This dashboard contained a top-down view of the company’s performance, with the ability to drill right down to a single account level. Users could track performance compared to last year or plan with a click of a button. The CEO found this dashboard very useful and worked with us on a daily basis to refine the presentation. 

Change management

The project also included an emphasis on change management and user adoption. A Keyrus change management consultant identified a “super group” of individuals from different roles (e.g., marketing, sales, finance, etc.) and different levels (e.g., analysts, managers, etc.) within the organization. 

We sought to understand the daily activities of each of these user roles in order to more effectively tailor training for the new solution. Once user adoption was established for the super group, the solution would be rolled out across the organization.   

Results

As a result of the project, the company has a single source of truth for their data, and it’s accessible by everyone in the company. The new platform is used in key processes, such as account segmentation and new product launches, and they also use a BI center of excellence to  ensure the project will be successful in the long-term. The management team has a set of core KPI dashboards that they can refer to for monthly and quarterly business reviews. About 70% of employees use the platform consistently with the CEO as a top user.  

The insights and finance teams each save at least one week per month thanks to the new automated reports. They no longer have to spend time maintaining excel spreadsheets and answering questions about the data. 

The executive team saves approximately three days per month because they no longer have to manually compile information for performance reviews of certain markets; the CEO can simply look at the report. 

Overall, the project enabled the company to begin using data to make smarter business decisions that will drive the company forward.

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