PepsiCo, the food and beverage giant, is tapping into the power of “augmented intelligence” as it seeks to generate powerful consumer and strategic insights.

A key driver of the company’s efforts in this area is Ada, an in-house platform that launched last year, and was created in partnership with Zappi, a firm that specialises in automated marketing research.

The definition of Ada as providing “augmented intelligence” – not artificial intelligence – took shape because it draws on the best of human insights and algorithms, rather than relying on the latter.

“We need our insight professionals to be a part of this journey. It’s not going to be great analytics overnight,” Kate Schardt, senior director/global insights at PepsiCo, explained at The Market Research Event (TMRE). (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: PepsiCo turns to “augmented intelligence” to digitize insights.)

In keeping with this notion, the quality of the inputs received by the Ada platform will determine the strength of its output over time. “We’re going to have to teach it and make it smarter and make it better,” said Schardt.

PepsiCo has already run several hundred concepts through Ada – named after Ada Lovelace, the famed 19th-century English mathematician – and believes the system will ultimately allow for rapid learning and in-market optimization.

“What we’re doing with Ada is thinking about how can we embrace technology in order to really enable this iterative consumer experimentation,” said Schardt.

Another feature of this property is that it can pull together data from a wide range of sources, and let PepsiCo leverage this information in various ways.

“We buy a lot of data every year as an organization, but we’re not leveraging the full power and potential of that data,” Schardt asserted.

“If we’re able to put it all into one system, we’re able to get to a much deeper understanding of what drives ROI and makes those connections.”

Alongside identifying scaled and targeted opportunities, Ada is similarly intended to help PepiCo get smarter in multiple ways through a mix of machine learning and growing human knowledge.

“We’re looking at a total end-to-end process, so the platform is going to include innovation, design, content ... price [decisions] and research,” Schardt said.

“The vision is that we have everything on the same platform so that we’re able to really start to uncover deeper analytics around what actually makes things successful.”

Sourced from WARC