Jay Caplan, Senior Business Analytics Manager
Coca-ColaExplore Success Stories
Department: Business Intelligence
beverages consumed daily
personalized inventory-optimization reports
of franchises across the U.S. supported with Alteryx
Visiting The Coca-Cola Company headquarters in downtown Atlanta feels a bit like stepping back in time, while simultaneously catching a glimpse of the future. Coca-Cola’s long and storied history begins in 1886, when imaginative pharmacist Dr. John S. Pemberton took his most recent invention, a concentrated syrup, to his local pharmacy, where it was to be served from the newfangled soda fountain. During his first year in business, Pemberton sold approximately nine glasses of Coca-Cola a day. Today, over 1.9 billion Coca-Cola beverages are enjoyed daily around the globe.
How did Coca-Cola grow from a modest neighborhood concoction to one of the most beloved beverages and iconic brands in the world? The answer to that question is as mysterious as the top-secret Coca-Cola recipe itself, yet one thing is crystal clear. Over the years, Coca-Cola has managed to balance a commitment to its rich history with a relentless pursuit of innovation around one simple goal: making people happy.
I’ve worked at Coca-Cola for 18 years,” offers Jay Caplan, Senior Business Analytics Manager at Coca Cola. “A lot of things have changed—the campaigns, the trends, the technology—but our vision has stayed the same. Coca-Cola still represents pausing for a moment of happiness.
“The part I play in that vision is behind the scenes. Picture all the places you could buy a Coca-Cola within a one-mile radius of your home. Now think about that idea at a larger scale—all the places you could get a Coca-Cola product across the globe. That’s the volume of data we deal with every day,” Jay explains. “My role is explicitly analytical, but in today’s day and age, every group is dependent on data, from audit and finance to production and delivery. We need to understand every single step of our customers’ journey to continue delivering on our promise of happiness. Alteryx is one of the platforms we use to make sense of all that essential information.
Senior Business Analytics Manager
We use Alteryx to predict things like which components will require maintenance in the near future and what flavors provide the best product mix...
We use Alteryx to merge, prepare, and analyze data from multiple disparate sources and make our insights accessible across the organization. It’s the key to unlocking the value of our data.
“The first time I used Alteryx was about three years ago, before anyone in my office had started using it. I was trying to make sense of our bottling data. The massive datasets I was pulling in from our data repository kept blowing up Access and Excel. I downloaded an Alteryx trial, and within three hours I was able to create the database I needed, despite being completely new to the tool. The fact that I could process over 4.5 million rows of data from separate data sets without writing a single line of code was just incredible. From that moment on, I was hooked.”
A long, double-sided line of tape spans the length of Jay’s windowpane, covered in stickers of his favorite Alteryx workflow tools, each one a visual representation of an analytical functionality, such as a fuzzy match join and a Naïve Bayes classifier. “The 21st century toolbelt,” Jay jokes.
“Ever since that first use case, I’ve been a huge fan of Alteryx. In fact, the other day when I showed one of our internal analysts a newly completed workflow, they were so impressed that they got their own team Alteryx licenses. There’s just something contagious about it. Alteryx has spread far and wide within Coca-Cola. We have several hundred users across the organization, from the supply chain group to our data science team, all gleaning insights from Coca-Cola data using Alteryx. My coworker and I co-lead an internal Alteryx user group that bring together local and virtual users across those groups to share ideas and best practices throughout Coca-Cola.
“Honestly, I use Alteryx for too many projects to count, for everything from geospatial intelligence to time series forecasting and predictive modeling. One of my biggest wins as of late involves the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine, a touch screen fountain that allows users to create their own perfect mixture of flavors. Consumers love it, because they have the freedom to customize and choose what makes them happy. We love it too, because we’re getting a level of insight into the Coca-Cola experience that has never been possible. Behind the scenes, we use Alteryx to predict things like which components will require maintenance in the near future and what flavors provide the best product mix in different regions of the country.
“We recently decided that we wanted to expand our reach externally and use machine level Freestyle data to help restaurant owners make more data-driven business decisions.
I support one of our largest global accounts, which is comprised of thousands of franchisees selling close to 1 billion beverages per year.
I can mine troves of data from Freestyle machines across the country. Using Alteryx, Jay was able to collate and summarize historical data and automatically generate and send over 600 personalized reports to restaurant owners. Jay’s analyses empower restaurant owners to understand and optimize their inventory, reducing out of stocks and increasing profit margins.
“I remember building out a prototype for ten stores. It ran in less than one minute. I was standing at my desk jumping up and down, saying, ‘This can’t be right!’ People outside my office were asking if I was okay. I did a little victory dance and yelled, ‘It worked!’ I can’t even imagine how long it would have taken me to build and run thatkind of analysis.
“I simply can’t imagine doing my job without Alteryx,” Jay insists. “Nor would I want to,” he adds with a smile.