The Technology Telling Sales Stories: Q&A with Nav Bhachech, SVP of Engineering
When vying for shelf space, consumer packaged goods brands (CPGs) need data to state their case. Today more than ever, with the surplus of data at our fingertips, this information is disparate, overwhelming, and confusing to decipher. Time and resources are needed to integrate multiple retail data sources, harmonize and analyze it, and present the most important insights gleaned by that analysis.
The Bedrock team are no strangers to Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Pair that with our strong domain expertise and you have data-driven insights that are automated into profitable sales decks, at scale.
Bedrock is an industry-first software platform that bridges the gap between complex data sets and CPG sales managers to empower them with the insights they need to deliver compelling stories in their retail pitches. By using data, insights, and storytelling to drive growth and increase market share, Bedrock is helping CPG manufacturers get the most value from their investment in syndicated & retail POS data.
Navdip Bhachech is the SVP of Engineering at Bedrock. Nav led engineering departments at Amazon, Microsoft and other tech companies. Below is a Q&A with Nav:
How does the technology work?
Bedrock applies machine learning and AI techniques not just through a single layer but weaves them throughout the entire platform. We’ve trained different models to give customers business value on best practices in the CPG space.
Because of these different applications throughout, a lot of our data management is our take on an AI driven ETL (Extract Transfer Load). We ingest data from various retail & syndicated data sources with flexibility in the formats coming in. That data is then processed in terms of cleansing and adapting to the kinds of metrics our customers are interested in and filling in gaps that are only attainable with the help of AI.
Those metrics are then stored in a data source and made available from that point on through the application. The whole process can be minutes from when the data is sourced, to when it’s available in the system, depending on the nature of the source and volume of the data.
The goal during this ingestion cycle is to transform the data from its available form to something that will make more sense for our customers from a sales perspective, and useful for their analysis. This includes things like personalizing a hierarchical view of the data so they can focus on their brand and how it relates to the rest of the market.
Where AI is filling the gaps:
- Missing data
- Uncertainty around categorizing products and markets
- Risk assessment (which products are at risk of being pushed out or discontinued)
- Historical data used to predict the robustness of a product in the retail channel
What is a Visualization and What Makes Them Important?
Pictures are worth a thousand words because we’re all visual learners to some extent. Certain people like their data in tables. Some like it in graphs and pie charts. Hence why the best use of our AI/ML may just come from the Storylines — the combination of different visuals for different purposes, letting the data flow from one concept to another. For example, you might want to visualize a share diagram as a pie chart, or a sales trend analysis as a line chart to make that information pop.
We know these preferences change overtime. That’s why Bedrock is constantly working on increasing our library of visuals for customers to choose from, and pre-packaging them into storylines we know our customers want to tell — whether it’s a brand story, a promotion story, or a high growth product story.
The goal of analytics has always been to turn data into insights. What we’re doing is combining different visualizations with different pieces of the data and putting those insights into a customizable flow that makes sense for customers to present their data in a meaningful way.
Bedrock is changing the CPG landscape for brands big and small by taking these insights and turning them into visualizations and pre-packaged content that sales teams need to sell and grow.
What’s the Secret to Bedrock’s Technology?
Part of Bedrock’s secret sauce is that we understand some of the best practices in the CPG sector because of our deep roots in big data, application development, and algorithmically driven analysis within this space.
We understand the top 10 things a salesperson or category manager wants to do in their pitch and what the buyer wants to hear. We are prepared for those analyses right out of the gate and have them readily available for category managers to use.
We are composed of a rolodex of experts on the business side of Bedrock, including former retail buyers and category managers. However, we also have esteemed data scientists and mathematicians on the engineering side whose programming and analytical skills help the technology drive the calculations and predictions in our data sets. It’s a winning combination that pairs an advanced tech infrastructure with best-in-class CPG business experts.
Can You Give us a Peak Under the Tent on What’s Next?
Looking ahead, the next phase in our evolution will help analyze optimal paths for analysis and storyboarding options with recommendations in more easily digestible formats. We’ll do that by investing in the standardization of our internal tools and processes. Our databases are now larger than ever. We’re able to release and refresh them faster, while integrating data from more sources. This year, the release of Bedrock Insights is paving the way in making CPG data come alive like never before. More to come on enhanced capabilities around this in the future.
With a growing customer base across 160+ product categories, we are continuously pumping more AI into the product and finding more places where ML can be applied. In fact, this month we have several of our engineers coming together from across the world to take a deep dive into key automation opportunities. Our goal will be to eliminate more heavy lifting required up front to analyze data. We want our customers to start their presentation process with ease yet applying a greater level of sophistication, behind the scenes, through visualizations that are curated and ready to present.
Reach out to request a demo and see for yourself how Bedrock’s leading web-based retail analytics software is the future of CPG analytics!