In "Your Business Deserves the Big Impact of Big Data," Food Genius founder and CEO Justin Massa, Instacart founder Max Mullen and CoPilot Labs founder and CEO Eli Chait discussed how to utilize information to improve marketing, product development and day-to-day operations.
Part of the challenge of big data is finding where the sheer volume of data and insights available about foodservice intersect with the more narrow data and insights that matter to your business, Massa said.
One of the things the foodservice industry likes to do is to try to predict the next big flavor. However, Massa described poutine as a cautionary tale, because it's this fantastic decadent combination that hasn't even actually been a trend.
"When we rely on our gut instinct rather than the data to inform us about what's happening in a market, it leads us down a dangerous path," he said. "Success is a hybrid approach that melds creativity and perspective with analytics.
Think of it as playing "Moneyball" in the food industry, Massa said, suggesting business owners seek out insights that can be operationalized today and to create systems that can adapt to a rapidly shifting environment. Avoid obsessing about "why" and long time sequences, he added.