Let’s start with some facts.
A recent McKinsey Global Institute report revealed that data driven decisions result in 23 times greater likelihood of customer acquisition, 6 times greater likelihood of customer retention and 19 times greater likelihood of profitability.
It is evident that data is important. It is important for your company’s profits and for its brand image.
But what type of data? Recent emphasis has been on the importance of big data which is defined as ‘extremely large sets of data’. But big data is worthless to you until it is turned into actionable data. In order to get the true benefits of big data companies needs to get insights out of the data which inform actions and desired outcomes. In short its needs to become actionable data to be useful to your company. One approach to dealing with big data is Dataculture, the cultivation and development of data and technology in ways to ensure that it is useful for you.
But what does this have to do with your POS?
Your POS should be the conduit through which you get actionable data. It may surprise you to know that the right POS is the tool through which the most valuable information for your company is gathered and analyzed.
Big data on its own is large and complex and difficult to understand.
In contrast the actionable data certain POS systems can give you provide you with information which is valuable and immediately usable.
There are certain features to look for when buying a new or re-assessing your existing POS system.
Your POS should have Enterprise Resource Planning tools already built in. This way you can get powerful analytical and reporting capabilities from one ideally compact and sleek unit within each of your business locations.
Imagine having a POS within each of your stores or restaurants that was dutifully capturing and analyzing key data, telling you about the important elements of your business. The collective data collected would give you a crystal-clear and holistic picture of your overall business health. This enterprise wide POS solution should be able to provide you with a host of capabilities. This could be generating real-time data which users can view off-site if they prefer. It could also include the ability to receive reports that are uniquely suitable to each different department of your business. For example franchise owners would only receive information and reports from their locations and not be deluged with information about other franchisee’s locations allowing them to make informed and precise business decisions. In contrast a head office user would be able to receive high-level information across all brands and franchisee groups giving him or her a complete picture of business activities.
Your POS should have a lot of capabilities. Look for a POS that allows you to see how well promotions are doing. This will help you decide which promotions to continue running and which ones to stop.
Also choose a POS that allows you to track inventory levels in real time, giving you a picture of what you need to stock up on but also which products are not as popular.
Beyond being enterprise wide your actionable data source should also be specific and precise. Look for POS systems that can measure and pinpoint the daily success of your business using real-time productivity to per man hour tracking.
In addition to this there are multiple services your POS provider should give you the option of subscribing to. Vexilor for example comes with Givex Analytics which provides you with a powerful analytic reporting suite. This suite comes with multi-dimensional charts, graphs and reports which provide you with a deeper understanding your sales patterns, operational activities and customers.
Ensure that your POS is in the cloud to receive the most up-to-date and actionable data. With a cloud-based portal your inventory, staff schedules, menu management and valuable reporting tools are available remotely and in real-time. This guarantees that the data your POS is collecting is current, accurate and immediately useful.
In today’s data rich culture, making sure you have accurate and usable data is crucial and picking the right POS is key to your ongoing success. Who is your customer? When are they buying? What promotions work best? These are only a few of the questions your POS should answer giving you actionable data that informs important business decisions. Look for tools and features that allow you to tie together every facet of your business, giving you 360 degree visibility at store, regional or enterprise level. Don’t just make business decisions. Make insightful, informed business decisions with actionable data.