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Technology

Stop drowning in data: how operators can distill a wealth of information quickly and easily

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The software and systems that serve today’s hospitality industry amass a huge amount of information about how customers behave and how operations perform. It can be a life-saver for business, but it can also hinder progress. Operators and managers feel the pressure to collect as much data as possible to ensure that they are running their business with data-driven precision. In theory, it makes sense—we should use the information we gather to make smarter, more educated decisions and help correct course. However, in practice, we often feel inundated by information. Data, data everywhere—but it’s not always information that can be used, or used in time.

The fact is, bringing together data from a range of different systems and platforms is both expensive and impractical. We found through conversations with operators that a huge amount of time and effort—often many hours per week—is spent preparing KPI reports. What happens to that data and all the time spent drilling down into it? By the time completed reports can be reviewed, it can be too late for that data to have an impact. The sheer volume of data to comb through makes it tough to gain quick and actionable insights. Plus, the flood of data available makes it difficult to identify new correlations, draw new conclusions and gain valuable insights.

With such a huge manual effort to compile and analyze data, many businesses take the easier route: Operating in silos and producing narrow reports. This makes it quicker and easier for teams to get their reporting done but ignores a major opportunity to have a holistic understanding of the business and how these teams can work more efficiently as part of the larger organization. Imagine, then, what it would be like to have a true 360-degree view—a view that isn’t outdated by the time you get to look at it. Imagine: A picture of your operations that lets you see the impact of your decisions across the board and that gives you an understanding based on automated combinations and correlations of data from all of your different systems. You would save a tangible amount of time (and money) and gain more profound insights, with overlaid information revealing previously hidden trends. As a result, you can act quickly, decisively and effectively.

The right technology can pull data from a raft of sources such as your workforce management tools; purchasing, inventory and recipe management systems; POS, review sites and social media; weather forecasts; kitchen management systems; employee feedback and pulse surveys; and much more. The key is to find a solution that aggregates all of this data in a clear, concise and actionable way, without breaking the bank.

When used correctly, data can serve as a valuable resource to help business owners, managers and teams get ahead. By drawing together data from multiple systems into one central place and automatically correlating data in pre-defined dashboards and reports, the burden of hunting and gathering data is lifted from your teams. This frees them up to focus on delivering outstanding customer experiences, while making it easy for managers to understand their performance and where improvements can be made.

To learn more about how data and analytics can transform your back-office operations and improve predictability and profitability, download Fourth’s complimentary Data & Analytics white paper. Or, to learn more about Fourth’s fully-integrated analytics platform developed specifically for restaurants and hospitality businesses, get in touch.

This post is sponsored by Fourth

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