Wake up and visualise the Business Intelligence coffee

Posted on 30 Oct 2015 by The Manufacturer

Thomas Chapell explores the wonder of data visualisation and learns how Business Intelligence helped shape the roll-out of Costa Coffee’s Express vending machines.

Something that has long troubled business leaders is being able to quickly and easily access the right information to help formulate their decision making.

As a fan of the TED Talks series, perhaps one of my favourite videos was data journalists, David McCandless’ presentation, The Beauty of Data Visualisation.

But before we can even look at data visualisation, you need to know what you’re looking for.

McCandless' Billion Pound o-Gram (image courtesy of guardian.co.uk).
McCandless’ Billion Pound o-Gram (image courtesy of guardian.co.uk).

After becoming frustrated at the simplicity the media would quote figures in billions of pounds, he asked, ‘what does that actually mean?’

It’s obviously a significant sum of money, but without context the figures are meaningless.

McCandless brilliantly highlights this by creating the ‘billion pound o-gram’.

After scraping data from various news sources, McCandless’ creation helps us understand these figures visually and relatively, and therefore patterns and trends suddenly become much more apparent.

While researching Business Intelligence (BI), data and analytics for the upcoming Connect BI event, I had the opportunity to speak with various industry leaders who shared with me a multitude of BI success stories.

Elaine Cook was just one such person.  Cook works in strategic marketing for the Internet of Things (IoT) at Intel.

As an example of how big data and data analytics were driving business growth, Cook described multinational coffee house, Costa Coffee’s extensive efforts when creating its widely used Costa Express vending machines –currently numbering over 3,500 and rising.

coffeebeans (Image courtesy of Amanda28192 on Flickr).(Image courtesy of Amanda28192 on Flickr).
(Image courtesy of Amanda28192 on Flickr).

According to Cook, there was a substantial amount of time and effort invested in analysing the sounds, smells and look of the baristas across the more than 1,750 Costa Coffee UK outlets and 1,100 overseas outlets to discover what customer’s respond to best.

The café jazz music, the sounds of a coffee machine, the smell of the coffee beans.  All gauged by analysing data from stores and analysing customer spending patterns.

Now this may not be new to many, but seeing data analytics in action like this really brings to life the full potential of Business Intelligence and data – often referred to as the ‘new oil’.

Do you feel overwhelmed by Business Intelligence (BI)?

BI is taking a pivotal place in a company’s success, but is evolving at a rapid pace.

As industry moves further towards service-based thinking, Industry 4.0 and increased volumes of big data, make sure you aren’t left dazed and confused while your rivals take the initiative.

Connect BI blends together a unique combination of in-depth case studies and peer-to-peer networking with individuals who are also procuring, implementing and exploring BI systems.

Connect BI will provide you with the opportunity to further your understanding of BI, giving you the upper hand with unrestricted exposure to both peers and the vendor community.

The must attend event to explore potential business partners, building much sought after connections. With Connect BI, you can condense six months works into just one day.

14 June, 2016: London venue – TBC