When Big Data Meets Big Beer

A few weeks ago, Anheuser-Busch InBev quietly purchased the user-driven beer review platform, RateBeer. This acquisition gives the world's largest brewer access to massive amounts of data from consumers about their locations and beer preferences.

Exactly how AB InBev plans to use this data remains to be seen. Big data is often unstructured and must be cleaned, organized and formatted to be useful on a large scale. However, once it's compiled into a usable format, they will be able to gain invaluable insights into the minds of beer connoisseurs and allow them to create new recipes that will win over the market.

There is one big X factor though that could spoil AB InBev's plans. By nature, craft beer is produced by small, local, independent breweries. These consumers tend to shun macro-breweries and almost unanimously believe they cannot brew craft beer. Although a large number of consumers are unaware that some "craft beers" are owned by global brands.

Only time will tell if AB InBev's strategy will pay off. Lots of information can be learned through big data, but it only shows part of the story. Marrying it with primary research data, such as through online surveys and focus groups, gives a well-rounded picture and the deepest level of insight.

Posted by Stewart

Stewart is passionate about all things research. Designing studies, analyzing data, and moderating interviews - Stew does it all. Outside of research, he enjoys trying new recipes in the kitchen and exploring the OKC food and craft beer scene with his wife, Jade.

Topics: Research, Interesting