Data Sandbox

  • 1.  What Craft Beer Taught Me

    Pitney Bowes
    Posted 05-22-2019 06:34

    I have your attention now don't I! No, this isn't where I stop talking about craft beer. It is in fact when I start talking about it.

    The Queensland Government in Australia has a dedicated strategy for increasing the number of craft breweries. The strategy document is actually a really good read, click on the image to access it.
    Qld Craft Beer Strategy

    You can tell there was a team passionate about the subject involved, well who wouldn't be, because the detail and focus of the research is fantastic. The facts that support this strategy are numerous, from employees engaged by each brewery and what that means to economic development through to the production of key ingredients.

    Like all good strategies it also has priorities and actions. Everything from a 'brewlab' through to dedicated training, export assistance and simplification of liquor license processes. But what's this got to do with my passion for applied spatial data science?

    Well we already know there are benefits of using drive/walk times, demographics and sociodemographics in store location selection. Thanks to the stunning research behind this craft beer strategy we also know that 86% of craft beer drinkers visit specialty craft beer bars and pubs every 2-3 months and that more than 80% of their sales occur within 30km of the point of production.
    Strategy statistics from the report

    Alright, I admit I did learn some things craft breweries along the way – but my big take home was the need for some great data to point people in the direction of where they should set up.

    The TAFE (a Government technical training college for the non-Aussies reading this) course noted in the strategy should include information on this, but it seems to be focused on how to make better beer, okay I might retract that statement, that is really important. But it isn't until the last priority and second last action that they even talk about industry development and small business skills.

    Now I don't know about you, but I think choosing the right location to set up is far more important than being ready to access the export market – you won't get to that point if you aren't in the right place to kickstart your business…….remember 80% of sales are occurring within 30km of the brewery.

    There is a lot of information around about the people that drink craft beer.

    Multiple sources of craft beer statistics

    If you analyze a mix of demographic and sociodemographic or geo-demographic information based on this research you soon start getting an idea of where to investigate further. 

    Screen captures of demographics

    Of course you can then go into an analysis of what you want it to be near such as food outlets, employment hubs or access to properties with low overheads and then further delve into travel times, parking or even public transport. Yes I could go on, but it is probably verging on ranting.

    There are many of us that are passionate, savvy, fun, craft beer loving location data people that get it. But it is clear that we need to indoctrinate the less location and demographically aware people that location data can help.

    So what did I learn?

    Even passionate people that quote statistics don't always understand the power of location and more importantly applied spatial data science.

    Plus with the insights of a wonderful pre-sales resource within Pitney Bowes Australia that I won't name (TM) I may now know where to set up a brewery……

    What do I want you to do?

    The power of location isn't often understood or thought about, until you inspire people with what can be achieved with it.

    So if you are a spatial data scientist or you are location data savvy, use this example or a like example you have encountered to share our message. Share it broadly. Use fun and easily understood examples to excite and teach friends, colleagues, customers and of course business and government analysts and decision makers.

    I suspect that if you are reading this article on this Community you are in the group above. But if you are just starting your journey of mastering the value of location data – enjoy a craft beer with a spatial data scientist or analyst and talk about this article.



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    Gerry Stanley
    Pitney Bowes Australia
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