Big Data and the next generation of strategic decision making.

For the last 2 decades the use of technology and its impact have been a popular discussion at industry networking events and conferences around the world. This year’s AVEX operator’s summit was no different. A segment of the issues and topics that were presented and consequently discussed included a dedicated section on technology. What is the tech of the future? How will it impact us? How can we use it and what, if anything can you do you do with it?

There was a lot of interesting information around issues ranging from the contactless payment solutions to proof of concept works such as blockchain technology and their potential use cases. One of the topics Connect Vending touched on and Identified as a technology of the future was the use of artificial intelligence (AI). The case example for this particular discussion was around how AI might use your data to learn how to optimise routes for more effective management. However there are many uses for such a large plethora of information.

Coca Cola are particularly bullish on AI technology and the use of big data. Coca cola have been employing big data technology tactics for a number of years. They have been using all of the data they have accumulated to influence decision making across their 500 brands. Coca cola have specifically used this data to influence their new product development with a more targeted geographical focus. Based on area preference tastes.

Coca cola believe that the innovative combination of vending machines and technology will allow Coca cola to engage with consumers and gather insightful data that will further enhance coca colas ability to make better decisions in the future. Greg Chambers believes “As humans, we build emotional connections to machines and with products,” Chambers said during the session. “We will do this in new and exciting ways. You should enjoy the process of acquiring a Coke as much as you enjoy consuming a Coke.”

Looking at how Coca Cola have been so successful in implementing data strategies on a global scale, it’s interesting to think about how smaller businesses in the vending industry can utilise the data they gather from their fleet of operated and non-operated machines. It is well known that telemetry and other methods of gathering data from machines may open insight to ways to deliver a service that consumers find appealing. For example the mix of products in a machine? Or when are optimal filling times? Increasingly data is becoming a sought after commodity but like most commodities it is the use of the commodity by which it may derive its value. Coca cola is a great example of a company that has used big data to its advantage but what else could be achieved in the next generation of informed decision making?