In hospitality and FMCG, understanding market developments is more important than ever. We recently talked to Nienke Kroes and Lars Hopman at TAPP to discover how TAPP uses insights from Snowflake’s Data Cloud to help customers make profitable decisions—much needed as the COVID-hit industries recover.

Hospitality data platform provider TAPP helps independent venues and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands in the Netherlands optimize their pricing and assortment through a mix of known and anonymized competitor insights. 

These industries have always been competitive. But now the COVID-19 pandemic has further raised the stakes, reinforcing data’s importance in guiding key decisions from pricing to new product launches and test-and-learn programs. 

To gain these kinds of insights, large-scale data aggregation and analysis are an absolute necessity. “We use data to create our product: TAPP for Horeca and TAPP for FMCG,” says Lars Hopman, Data Platform Lead at TAPP. “Our original solution was built in a MySQL database on AWS. It was fine for the transactional workloads we started out with, but as we looked to process more analytical workloads, we found it couldn’t deliver the performance and scalability we needed.”

Security and compliance are also significant priorities for TAPP, with the company collecting, processing, and storing highly sensitive and detailed information that competitors could exploit if not treated properly and anonymized appropriately. 

A secure and scalable data platform in the cloud 

The company’s choice of platform was further guided by the need to lift and shift its data warehouse without disrupting its operations. Hopman explained: “We considered moving to Redshift, but the Snowflake platform’s scalability and zero-infrastructure management clinched the deal. The migration was quick and we could run our old system in parallel to ensure everything copied correctly. We also found it very straightforward to integrate our S3 instance and run our Apache Airflow customer data pipelines each day.” 

Now all its customer transaction data is processed and analyzed in Snowflake, TAPP can keep its customers one step ahead. 

For hospitality venues, this means continuous tracking to match product prices in line with the competition and product performance monitoring to optimize assortment. 

And FMCG brands can work more efficiently, using test-and-learn programs based on data-driven insights in TAPP’s platform. And with access to anonymized market trends, customers can understand and mitigate risk more effectively and identify new opportunities quicker than ever before.

Data collaboration at scale—with security at the fore 

TAPP also uses the secure data collaboration capabilities in Snowflake’s Data Cloud to constantly exchange data with its customers, helping them access the latest insights for faster and more accurate decision making. It doesn’t matter whether they’re also Snowflake customers; with Reader accounts, everyone has easy access to their data, and can integrate it with any SQL database.

“It’s really easy to share data in Snowflake, and we no longer worry about Excel sheets,” said Nienke Kroes, Responsible for Marketing and Communications at TAPP. “And with security our biggest priority, the platform enables us to guarantee our customers’ data is safe—while also giving them access to a huge pool of insights.” 

As well as security, TAPP places significant emphasis on data quality and consistency. By integrating its Monte Carlo instance with Snowflake, the company has access to end-to-end pipeline monitoring, automatically flagging potential errors in its datasets before they reach the end customer. 

What’s more, TAPP uses machine learning tools in Snowflake to populate its hierarchy, enabling naming conventions and other product-specific nuances to be standardized across its platform—something TAPP couldn’t achieve using manual processes. The company also maps its hierarchy to customer product IDs, simplifying integration between its platform and customers’ systems.

A fully-integrated platform with limitless possibilities

In addition to Apache Airflow and Monte Carlo, TAPP integrates other critical tools with Snowflake’s Data Cloud, including Tableau for BI and Hightouch for reverse ETL—creating an end-to-end data ecosystem and a continual flow of data-driven insights for its customers. 

This all amounts to a platform that helps sales reps become more efficient, gives venues greater visibility over their performance, and enables FMCG brands to optimize their marketing and ROI. “It wouldn’t have been possible to build our platform without Snowflake’s Data Cloud,” said Hopman. “The data collaboration capabilities accelerate everything, and the difference in query response time is huge compared to our old solution. Snowflake also allows us to create aggregate tables using analytical base tables and process large data volumes, categorized with multiple filters.” 

Customer-centric growth leads the way

Expanding reach and data volumes will be key to TAPP’s future growth. The company is looking to increase the number of bars and restaurants it serves while developing its FMCG products to deliver more easily accessible insights. 

“The truth is, no other company is capable of connecting to any point of sale systems and any venue in Europe,” said Kroes. “The fact that our customers—from independent venues to larger organizations like Heineken and CCEP—can access insights on their own through our platform with just one click has allowed TAPP to become the hospitality data expert in the country.”