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The Uplow'd By 84.51°

Technology Podcasts

84.51° launched The Uplow’d because we’re curious about so many things, and we’re betting you’re curious, too. Each month, we’ll delve into topics such as AI, Machine Learning and Data Science that we’re shaping, solving or simply learning about.


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84.51° launched The Uplow’d because we’re curious about so many things, and we’re betting you’re curious, too. Each month, we’ll delve into topics such as AI, Machine Learning and Data Science that we’re shaping, solving or simply learning about.




Shaping a new normal

When COVID-19 took hold in early 2020, the grocery industry found itself facing an unprecedented rate of change. Brands and retailers were suddenly forced to navigate near-constant shifts in customer behavior and consumer sentiment. As shoppers’ habits, preferences and norms continue to evolve even as the pandemic wanes, 84.51° has kept pace with ongoing behavioral analytics and consumer research, identifying a number of shopper trends that have emerged around concerns about safety, health,...


A Summer of Celebrations with guest Barbara Connors

On this first episode of 2021, we welcome Barbara Connors, VP of Commercial Insights, to discuss the warm summer months ahead, and the consumer trends that CPGs can expect as we head into the second year of COVID-19 and the impact the vaccine roll out may have on consumers. Barbara walks us through the research the Commercial Insights team has completed to shed some light on what is shaping up to be a Summer of Celebrations. To read more about our Summer of Celebrations, visit...


Consumer Perceptions and the 2020 Holidays with guests Erika Penrose and Logan O'Neil

On this special Thanksgiving episode of The Uplow’d, we welcome guests Erika Penrose and Logan O’Neil to discuss the recent research completed by 84.51° on consumers’ perceptions about COVID-19. We’ll discuss how shoppers’ attitudes about the pandemic have evolved over time since the outbreak, and how brands can expect this to impact spending around the upcoming holidays. To read the full report, Consumer Perceptions on Returning to Normal and its Impact on the Upcoming Holidays, click...


Winning the Digital Aisle with guests Kelsey Crookes and Peter Johnson

On this episode, guests Kelsey Crookes and Peter Johnson talk about the shift of grocery shopping from in-store to online. We’ll chat about the partnership between Kroger Precision Marketing and Microsoft PromoteIQ that is helping brands win business in today’s digital aisles. We also a shine a light on important holiday marketing trends in ecommerce. Curious about the Roku episode referenced in today’s episode? Click here:...


Testing the Power of Plant Based Foods with guests Julie Emmett, Jessica Mahan and Eric Wolfe

Today on The Uplow’d, we welcome Julie Emmett, Jessica Mahan and Eric Wolfe to discuss an in-store test conducted on behalf of the Plant Based Foods Association to uncover how Kroger shoppers are responding to plant-based meat products across the midwestern U.S. We’ll learn about the surprising results of this test, and what it means for the future of plant-based meats. The test was also recently featured in an article by the Specialty Food Association. For more information, visit:...


SPECIAL EDITION: Data Science Development Program with guest Tyler Uher

On this special edition of The Uplow’d, we welcome Data Scientist Tyler Uher to discuss the 84.51° data science development program. Tyler, who joined 84.51° in June 2019 via the program, tells us what drew him to choose a career with 84.51°, and what the recruiting process was like for him. Tyler has a BBA in Business Analytics from the University of Notre Dame. In his current role, he supports the 84.51° Media business team by building tools to deliver insights that consultants can use...


GIS Hunger Mapping with guests Charles Hoffman, Dr. Robert Kahle and Gloria Roderick

On this episode of The Uplow’d, we welcome 84.51° Data Scientist, Charles Hoffman, along with Dr. Robert Kahle and Gloria Roderick from the Riley Center for Livable Communities at the College of Charleston to talk about using modern science to fight hunger. We explore how geographic information systems (GIS) technology has been applied to map the areas where community members are experiencing hunger and help non-profit organizations best allocate their free food resources. Charles Hoffman...


AutoMINs with guests Amanda Jack, B.J. Schmidt and Greg Noble

On this episode of The Uplow’d, our guests Amanda Jack, B.J. Schmidt and Greg Noble give us a behind-the-scenes look into what goes into store ordering, and how the recent introduction of a system called AutoMINs puts data behind each order placed to keep store shelves stocked. Amanda Jack is a Lead Solution Design Consultant for the 84.51° SCORe & Operations Research Missions, which services Kroger Supply Chain & Retail Operations. Over the past two years, her focus has been on...


Creating a More Effective Media Ecosystem for CPGs with guests Halli Goddard and Gaurav Shirole

Today on The Uplow’d, we welcome guests Halli Goddard (Advanced TV Product Lead, KPM) and Gauarv Shirole (Head of Measurement, Roku) to discuss the partnership between Kroger Precision Marketing and Roku. We discuss the new ways this partnership is able to connect CPGs to shoppers, while also closing the loop between ad spend and sales to make media dollars more accountable. Halli Goddard is a Lead Consultant at 84.51° focused on Product, Strategy, & Innovation for Kroger Precision...


SPECIAL EDITION: ITOPiA and Creating an Introvert-Friendly Workplace with guests Jennifer Kahnweiler and Ryan Showalter

On today’s SPECIAL EDITION of The Uplow’d, we welcome guests Jennifer Kahnweiler, author of Creating Introvert-Friendly Workplaces, and 84.51° Director of Consulting, Ryan Showalter, to talk about ITOPiA. This associate resource group was created specifically to provide support and resources for 84.51°’s introverted employees. We’ll talk about the unique challenges that introverts face in the workplace, and the ways that employers can fine tune their workplaces to be sure they’re taking...


84.51°’s Qualitative Research Community: Understanding the COVID-19 Impact with guest Natalie Wozniak

On this episode of The Uplow’d, we welcome Senior Researcher Natalie Wozniak to talk about her role on 84.51°’s Consumer Research Team and some of the qualitative research that they undertake. We’ll learn about how her work on the Foundational Research Pillar answers fundamental questions about our customers and supports the broader Consumer Research team’s work on customer attitudes and sentiment. This work compliments 84.51°’s ability to identify consumer behaviors by answering the broad...


Algorithm Fairness with guests Jeanette Mumbeck and Grant Gilkerson

This month’s episode of The Uplow’d is a special virtual edition. Our host Dan O’Keeffe welcomes 84.51°’s Jeanette Mumbeck and Grant Gilkerson to talk about Algorithm Fairness. We discuss the prevalence of algorithms in modern society, and how it’s actually possible for bias to enter into the results they produce. Jeanette and Grant explain the steps that 84.51° is taking to eliminate bias, and offer their suggestions for actions other data scientists can take to help promote fairness in...


SPECIAL EDITION: Diversity and Inclusion with guest Terron Wilson

On this special edition of The Uplow’d, we celebrate International Women’s Day with 84.51° Diversity and Inclusion Manager, Terron Wilson. Terron brings us up to speed on all the efforts to maintain 84.51°’s culture of Diversity and Inclusion through programs that not only educate and create awareness, but affect real change. Besides being the right thing to do, we’ll learn about why this is so important for a data science organization, and also how it impacts our bottom line. As the...


Enterprise Data Science Academy with guest Alex Gutman

In this episode of The Uplow’d, we sit down with Lead Data Scientist, Alex Gutman, to talk about how 84.51°’s Enterprise Data Science Academy is raising the data science IQ of 84.51° and Kroger. We’ll learn about Alex’s Fulbright grant to teach about technology in Kyrgyzstan, and talk about all the things that Artificial Intelligence can do (and more importantly, what it can’t do). Alex has a Ph.D. in Applied Math and Statistics. He oversees training, short courses, and consulting to enable...


NICS & Predictive Analytics with guest Mike Wessel

In this episode of The Uplow’d, we welcome Director of Kroger Merchandising, DSD & Alcoholic Beverage, Mike Wessel. Mike gives us the low down on the 84.51° New Item Concept Screener (NICS) tool, and how it provides insight into how well a new product might resonate with customers before it ever hits the shelves. Mike Wessel works with Kroger Merchandising Teams analyzing loyalty card data to solve for customer needs, which includes consulting on which products are the best to sell. A...


Data Science Innovation in Personalizing the Customer Experience (PTCE) with guest Lauren Littlejohn

On this episode, we welcome Director of Data Science for Kroger Precision Marketing, Lauren Littlejohn, to discuss DS Innovation in PTCE. As a founder of KPM, Lauren shines light on all the ways 84.51° makes every interaction customers have with Kroger and its suppliers as relevant as possible. Lauren Littlejohn is a Director of Data Science at 84.51°, focused on using data and machine learning to improve campaign performance under Kroger Precision Marketing. She has spent over four years...


Personalizing the Customer Experience in the Kroger App with guest Kate Cullen

On this edition of The Uplow’d, our host Dan O’Keeffe sits down with Lead Consultant - Product, Strategy and Innovation for 84.51°, Kate Cullen. We discuss the Kroger app, and all the ways it helps to personalize shoppers' customer experience, including in-store enhancements such as digital shelf edge communications. Kate Cullen is a Lead Consultant at 84.51° focused on Product, Strategy, & Innovation for Kroger Precision Marketing. She has spent over five years learning how to successfully...


Spatial Analysis with guest Greg Anderson

84.51° Data Scientist Greg Anderson joins us on this episode of The Uplow’d to discuss Spatial Analysis. We’ll learn about this cutting edge data science that helps Kroger plan new store locations, existing store remodels, and where an Ocado hub or spoke will perform best.


How 84.51° Data Science Drives the Natural and Organic Movement with guest Alex Trott

This month, Dan is joined by 84.51° Lead Consultant for Kroger Merchandising, Alex Trott, to discuss Kroger’s Natural and Organic brands. We’ll discover how Kroger selects the natural and organic brands for its stores, as well as what Kroger does differently to make these premium products more accessible to all customers. We’ll talk about the future of the natural and organic movement, and find out what Hollywood star Jennifer Garner and Kroger have in common!


Automated Machine Learning: DataRobot and Open Source with guest Brandon Greenwell

On this month’s episode of The Uplow’d, 84.51° Data Scientist and author of the widely-popular R package, Partial Dependence Plots (pdp), Brandon Greenwell, discusses Automated Machine Learning and the benefits that DataRobot and a number of open source tools are bringing to the table.