Coca-Cola Amatil invests in data science

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Coca-Cola Amatil invests in data science

Hires ex-CBA data scientist to create CoE.

Coca-Cola Amatil is taking its first steps towards establishing a central data science capability, bringing in former CBA data scientist Siamak Tafavogh to design and build an internal centre of excellence.

Six months in, Tafavogh is in the process of laying the foundations for the centre by evaluating new big data infrastructure and creating corporate data standards to support its operation.

“CCA have a very good historical dataset - we collect lots of data from a variety of sources including manufacturing, trucks, fridges, and from customers,” Tafavogh told iTnews.

“The main target challenge … is to be more proactive. [We] want to predict where the market wants to go and the trend of the market in the future.”

CCA is currently evaluating its options for a big data platform to underpin the technical operations of the centre of excellence (CoE) for analytics, a process which is likely to extend through to at least the end of the year.

“We are investigating where to go - which platform will be helpful for us,” Tafavogh said.

Concurrently, CCA is looking to drive a new data culture internally.

“The way you generate and deal with data can really effect the insight that you get from the data,” Tafavogh said.

“If the culture isn’t set and people don’t know the value of data, then most probably they cannot get the best value out of it.

“I think part of the responsibility of this CoE is to get this message across, to expand this culture of dealing with data.”

Part of the cultural shift will see the creation of a set of minimum quality standards for data generated by CCA in future.

“I think most of us somehow generate data in our jobs, and how we’re generating that data is very important,” Tafavogh said.

“It’s very important the data that you’re generating has a level of quality so people can use it later.”

Tafavogh is keen to start creating value but – based on his experiences - is also cognisant that it could take some time to build internal capability and recognition of what the centre can offer.

“It’s very important for the organisation to see the value from this,” he said.

“But everything around big data is big and time consuming, so it’s very important when you’re in the process of establishing such a centre that the organisation understands the scale of the job and responsibilities.

“Once it’s established then we can start to show the value and bring more advantages to the organisation.”

CCA has operations in Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Samoa.

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