The Coca Cola Company is not the first company that comes to mind when the terms like big data, machine learning & augmented reality are thrown around. However, this beverages giant was one of the first global corporations, outside the IT industry, to join the big data conversation. This is in part because of the huge stockpile of data the company is sitting on. In order to roughly gauge the volume of data the company has access to, consider the fact that Coca Cola sells more than 500 brands of soft drinks in 200 countries, with the world consuming over 1.9 billion servings of soft drinks on a daily basis. Production, distribution, sales, and customer feedback are few of several kinds of data generated.
The Coca Cola brand is worth an estimated $84 billion (that is more than the value of Pepsi, Budweiser, Subway, and KFC combined!). The company has pushed extensive resources into how they analyse large volumes of data, and relies on solid data-driven strategies for business intelligence and to guide strategic decisions.
Coca Cola followers on social media number in the hundreds of millions, and on average, a Coca Cola product is mentioned somewhere in the world every 2 seconds. Mining social media data allows the company to infer about consumption patterns, and feedback. The company uses AI based image recognition technology to identify when an image of the company’s product is posted on social media, and whether or not the content is favourable, using natural language processing tools. Insights are used to enhance targeted advertisement and monitor the success of products. The company is also making exciting advances in integrating AI, augmented reality technology & internet of things (IoT), with service and product development. The company started analysing data from their self-service soda machines in the United States to identify what ‘flavour shots’ were most preferred, and this led to the launch of “Cherry Sprite”. In 2015, in an attempt to create intelligent experiences, the company used a tool that guessed the age of a Coca Cola bottle if a customer uploaded a selfie with the bottle. The company is also revamping its vending machines with AI features & a virtual assistant to allow for greater personalization. Users of these enhanced machines will be able to order their preferred blends of soft drinks, with the machine also suggesting mixes based on their individual preferences. AI will allow these machines to adapt to locations, with vending machines in malls & social places being livelier than machines in a hospital, which will be more functionality oriented & sombre.