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Teradata – Coca Cola and customer intelligence


Justin Honaman from Coca Cola presented on their use of Teradata in their customer intelligence program.  Coca Cola has a huge range of products, in many sizes, as well as dozens of bottlers and distribution partners. The 72 bottlers are limited to specific geographies, adding a layer of complexity to their business. Justin’s group, Customer Business Solutions, handles transactional systems (EDI for orders and fulfillment), trade programs and customer intelligence.

Coca Cola faced the usual problems – multiple point solutions, scattered data, reports bottlenecked in IT,  capacity limits on processing etc. In particular Coca Cola did not have a real view of a customer – a retailer – they could not bring everything together around a customer. This led, some 6 years ago, to an initiative to deliver comprehensive, web-based, self-service and accurate reporting. They are still mostly looking backward and just beginning to think about prediction and operationalizing.

The solution uses Teradata, Microstrategy and SharePoint. 30% of the reporting is scheduled and 70% is ad-hoc, creating an interesting challenge for load management.

It made a big difference to have a single data warehouse and to have all the details not just the summary data in the warehouse. This allows new reports, new questions to be addressed from the same data. It will also, of course, allow them to do analytics later more effectively. They also made it easy for non-technical users to consume the reports and analyses.

Next there plan to expand into supporting a more demand-driven supply chain – “demand signal” driven. As more demand is detected, change the supply chain to manage it. This is interesting not only for the impact it has on the reporting infrastructure, it will also drive an increasing focus on automation and on prediction. Of course this needs to be integrated with the kind of store planning that companies like Target are doing as well as the trade promotions being planned.


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  • Customer Intelligence April 29, 2010, 6:14 am

    Interesting article. Being able to gather customer trends data is vital to the success of a business. Thanks for the tips.