I found a great article in Harvard Business Review, titled “Big Data for the Rest of Us” that really caught my attention. As a big wine drinker – and a big data technologist, in that order – I was intrigued.
The author walks through the challenges faced by San Francisco-based wine startup VinoEno, whose goal is to build a new big data application to help consumers choose a bottle of wine.
The following quote from VinoEno founder Kevin Bersofsky sums up a huge problem in the wine industry:
“You can’t get much smaller – or flawed — than one person giving a score, the Wine Spectator model, that drives an entire industry.”
Such limited data, Bersofsky knows, makes people very uncomfortable spending even $20 on a bottle.
This statement is so true in so many industries. And the size of the company doesn’t matter. In the wine industry, there is so little ‘real data’ available to consumers to make their purchases that many wine manufacturers invest heavily in the bottle label and the name of the wine to attract attention. Consumers make purchases walking down a grocery store aisle and looking at a shelf of wines.
Which wine would you choose?
What I like about this article is its focus on a small wine startup, and that companies of even this size can take advantage of Big Data and science without needing millions of dollars. It will be very interesting to see how this application fares.