BI and Vodka

How Microsoft helped this bar figure out that vodka was costing it a fortune

For one Seattle bar that tried out an early version of Microsoft’s Power BI cloud business intelligence service, the discrepancy between the alcohol bartenders were getting through and what they were charging for turned out to about $5,000 a month. The owner wasn’t surprised; that’s par for the industry. But then he found something that did surprise him: When he looked at sales and losses in more detail using Power BI’s Q&A natural language tools for exploring data, the problem wasn’t evenly spread across the 139 different kinds of alcohol in stock. Almost half of the missing money came from vodka sales, and of the six vodka brands the bar serves, just two brands — Crown Russe and Stolichnaya — were responsible for the majority of the losses.

 

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