LEVERAGING CLOUD POS AND BIG DATA TO MAXIMIZE YOUR OPERATION
Big Data. This term is buzzing around industries and businesses alike with an intense ferocity, making its presence known as the subject of countless meetings, emails, publications, strategies and analyses around the globe.
The concept itself has been personified now resembling a valuable direct link from your consumer and market to your business itself. Big Data is more than just “data”, it is now an embodiment and representation of analytics used to deconstruct consumer trends and behavior. These analytics are quickly becoming the most effective and beneficial way to maximize your operation.
The concept of Big Data isn’t brand new to organizations. Gathering data and utilizing it to make significant business decisions is a common methodology throughout every industry. However, the newest iteration of Big Data presents significant benefits that did not exist before- efficiency and speed. In prior years, organizations would have manually gathered information, used their teams to run data analytics, and unearthed facts and statistics to apply to future business decisions. Big Data is now agile, with the ability to work rapidly, thus giving businesses a competitive edge they did not have previously.
The 3 V’s:
Big Data is characterized by three primary factors, also referred to as “the 3 V’s”:
- Volume: Big Data gathers and tracks information from multiple sources, which in turn creates large volumes of data.
- Velocity: The streaming of Big Data occurs extremely rapidly, which means it must be evaluated in a timely fashion. Due to the velocity, Big Data is processed in real-time, allowing businesses to make important decisions on the fly.
- Variety: Due to the volume of Big Data, it exists in diverse formats, sometimes resulting in structured data revolving around numbers, statistics, and percentages, or unstructured platforms, in edia outlets such as email, video, and text documents.1
1: Understanding the three V’s of big data” www.zdnet.com
With these “3 V’s”, organizations are able to study powerful insights drawn from multiple sources to decipher hidden patterns, trends, behaviors, and relationships. Since the data gathered can be prescriptive, descriptive, and diagnostic all at once, restaurant operators can maximize their organizations like never before.
HOW IT WORKS
Before identifying how Big Data can benefit your operation, you must first identify the originating sources and where the data itself is coming from. Typically, Big Data falls into one of three categories:
1. Streaming Data:
This type of Big Data reaches your IT systems from a web of connected devices. “It is the data that is generated continuously by thousands of data sources such as customers using your mobile or web applications, eCommerce purchases, financial trading floors, geospatial services, and telemetry from connected devices in data centers. Streaming Data processing is most beneficial in most scenarios where new, dynamic data is generated on a continual basis.”2 Sources of streaming data grant business operators visibility on valuable aspects such as service usage, server activity, website clicks, and geo-location of devices and allows them the opportunity to respond or react promptly to situations that arise.
Example: Restaurant owners can take utilize Geofencing marketing and use cell towers and GPS location to find active mobile devices within a certain distance around their specific location, then send digital advertising to everyone within a few miles of the restaurant to inform them of promotions, specials, discounts or coupons.3
2. Social Media Data:
This form of Big Data has become increasingly valuable amongst marketing, sales, and support teams. “Social Media data refers to all the raw insights and information collected from an individual’s social media activity and tracks how they engage with your content or channels like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It gathers numbers, percentages, and statistics from which you can infer the performance of your social media strategy.”4 Social media raw data will assess the number of shares, likes, conversions, comments, mentions, and clicks- which are all crucial for examining customer behaviors and what drives their interests.
In our current culture, and the digital age that we live in, social media data is arguably the most valuable form of Big Data, as social media platforms have quickly become synonymous with successful marketing methodologies and brand awareness strategies. Business operators can now follow consumers through the Sales Cycle, and evaluate which networks are contributing the most to lead generation, and which types of content makes audiences click, share and convert. Without such valuable raw data points derived from social media data, business owners would struggle on where to invest their resources. Example: Build a highly personalized lead nurturing system, which delivers content based on lead’s social media activity. For example, whenever leads show high interest in a certain topic by frequently clicking on it, you can trigger an email campaign with content around the same topic.5
2: AWS Amazon
3: Geofencing and Restaurant Marketing” www. element502.com/geofencing-and-restaurant-marketing/
4: “The Oktopost What, Why and How of Social Media Data”
5: “The Oktopost What, Why and How of Social Media Data”
3. Publicly Available Sources:
This type of Big Data is open to the general public, and anyone can access this data free of charge. Often times, forward-thinking companies can benefit from using this type of data if they do not have the resources or time to collect their own for a particular project or issue. Many websites, apps, and companies that offer an API provide access to the data they collect through that API. In a recent study, Forbes identified the top 5 publicly available sources of Big Data as: 5
- Data.gov http://data.gov The US Government pledged last year to make all government data available freely online. This site is the first stage and acts as a portal to all sorts of amazing information on everything from climate to crime.
- US Census Bureau http://www.census.gov/data.html A wealth of information on the lives of US citizens covering population data, geographic data, and education.
- Socrata is another interesting place to explore government-related data, with some visualization tools built-in.
- European Union Open Data Portal http://open-data.europa.eu/en/data/ Same as the above, but based on data from European Union institutions.
- Data.gov.uk http://data.gov.uk/ Data from the UK Government, including the British National Bibliography – metadata on all UK books and publications since 1950.
Each of these three categories of Big Data can benefit your business in various ways.
THE BENEFITS OF UTILIZING BIG DATA TO MAXIMIZE YOUR BUSINESS ARE VAST AND PLENTIFUL. SOME OF THE MAJOR BENEFITS ARE:
- Reduction of Costs
- Studying Data in Real-Time
- Understanding your Customer
- Analyzing Market Trends
- Controlling Brand Reputation
5: “Big Data: 33 Brilliant and Free Data Sources Anyone Can Use”
Leveraging your Cloud POS Solution
As a restaurant owner today, you are most likely juggling a variety of processes, platforms and systems- from loyalty programs, to online ordering, scheduling, reporting, and accounting to name a few. Since all consumers expect a consistent journey from the beginning to the end of the Sales Cycle, integrating your systems is the pathway to success.
The advantages of integrating your ecosystem to complement your entire POS solution are substantial. As customer needs change, business owners of all kinds must continue to enhance and expand their customer interaction capabilities to adapt to the evolving industry environment. This results in optimal guest satisfaction while improving customer support and reducing the total cost of ownership of your solution.
Restaurant owners today need to be Big Data-driven on which products to sell, the cost of products, how to market, and who to market to. Many Cloud POS solutions offer businesses the opportunity to use Big Data efficiently through various POS integrations.
The primary benefit of a Cloud POS solution is the accessibility of the data via the API. Integration partners can be utilized for an out of the box solution, or customers can consume data via the API into their own data warehouse. Data available via the API generates in real-time, which can allow for timely business decisions, providing guest’s the ultimate experience.
USING BIG DATA IN YOUR RESTAURANT
Based on sales trends, and peak hours, managers and business owners can now evaluate
the best times to add or cut labor.
Analyzing Guest Trends
What is driving your guests to eat at your establishment? What are your peak times?
Which elements of your loyalty program are they enjoying most? How well did your
coupon or promotion go over? Are diners giving you positive reviews on your social media
platforms? Using Big Data, you can now make the most of your marketing dollars to increase guest satisfaction and guarantee a positive dining experience.
Maximize Your Menu
Examine the Big Data provided to you through your integration partners and maximize
your menu offerings based on which dishes were popular amongst guests, and which
weren’t. This will also result in cost savings amongst your inventory.
Motivate Your Staff
After examining your menu and discovering which items performed well, and which
didn’t, this information can be used to motivate your staff. Take a closer look at areas on
your menu that are easy to upsell or add on, such as alcohol, dessert, or appetizers, and
create a content amongst your employees. The friendly competition will encourage your
staff and increase your profit at the same time!
PAR BRINK POS
Brink POS Software is unique and distinguishable by its contemporary Cloud-based POS architecture with fully integrated online and mobile ordering capabilities. It is modern, has loyalty at its core, and its architecture and feature set are designed to meet your technology needs today, while embracing innovation to meet your future business requirements.
With Brink POS software, your brand will be prepared to quickly implement the latest technology your customers expect. Brink offers an API that exposes all necessary Big Data and functions, allowing third-party vendors to interface with the Brink POS platform.
Many Brink customers use Big Data to maximize their operations by pulling sales and labor data from the Brink API, and insert it into their own databases allowing them to run their own reporting and analysis, and create their own Big Data dashboards.
Top Advantages of Using Data with Brink
- Actionable: By providing transactional data in real-time, Brink allows restaurant operators to be nimble and make adjustments quickly, resulting in the highest level of efficiency.
- Timely: Older, legacy systems can provide similar Big Data, but can take days, even weeks before it can be accessed and examined.
- Layered: Layering Big Data with other data sources allows for correlations to be drawn and grants owners a deeper dive into their operations. In the past, this was not available to businesses without great effort and high cost.
Using Big Data to Your Advantage
Utilizing Big Data grants restaurant owners and business owners alike the upper hand amongst their competition. Imperative information can now be captured and analyzed quickly and efficiently to enhance business making decisions.
Big Data can be used to outperform, and outlast others in the industry, and is now most commonly at the heart of business strategies, product roadmaps, and innovations.