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5 Hassles Every Report Writer Goes Through

Posted by Dave Bennett

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Why is it difficult to find and organize reporting data?

All you want is a factual answer to an important question you have about the business. It may take hours or days of labor to get all of the data put together properly. But you need to make a critical decision and you need the data to figure out the best course of action. To make matters worse, if you need to the data refreshed again in six weeks, it will take just as long to compile the data.

All of this complexity makes the typical day to day ad-hoc reporting process time consuming and error prone, and leaves the decision maker with uncertainty on whether they are looking at what they asked for.

Let's take a look at five hassles every report writer must go through:

1. Find the Data

You have lots of data, the first problem is knowing where to look for the data you are interested in right now. Is it all in one place or do you have to hunt around four or five places to get all of it? Are there different ID and passwords you need to access different systems? And once you have located it all, you need to cut and paste it all together somehow.

2. Centralize the Data

Restaurants have data all over the place. Much of it is centralized in the company's data center but a lot of it lies in various departments, at the restaurants, and with vendors. After you find what you need to examine, you may have to get it from point A to point B and this transport has to be secure. The last thing you need is the embarrassment of having your data highjacked as you're moving it.

3. Consolidate the Data

Spreadsheets are the most popular tool for combining data. Every day thousands of restaurant companies pay people to copy data out of their systems and paste them into worksheets. You may know some of these people; they are the employee's everyone goes to when they have a question about the business. They spend hours every day at the keyboard writing formulas, and macros to semi-automate tasks that are thoroughly repetitive. These people are stuck in a zone we call excel-hell. Like shoveling sand against the tide, the job never ends, and never gets better.

4. Linking Different Data Sources Together

Pasting the data together, as you know, is sometimes a big challenge. There can be differences in the level of detail from each system; some data may be summarized by day and store, while other data may be summarized by menu item by week. A third system may have the data summarized by daypart and destination. Pasting these sets of data is not simple and requires some expert judgment on how best to do it.

5. Apply Consistent Business Rules

There can other differences in the data across your systems. Some might be reporting data summarized to your fiscal period and others on the standard Gregorian calendar month. Some might be reporting comparable-store results while others are reporting all stores. If you have data spread across your various departments, some of these rules may or may not be important to an inpidual department but they are really important when you are looking at data across the enterprise. For example, most of the time, it isn't important that your supply chain data is visible on the same cycle as your payroll periods but it is important when you want to see the two sets of data side by side on a report.

Solution

The good news is there is a solution to this dilemma that ensures everyone in the company is using the same numbers in the same way, in other words, one version of the truth. This solution is designed to blend data across systems automatically all day long as the data is captured by the systems you use today. It applies your fiscal calendar. It applies your comparable store rule. It knows how you want to manage your 53rd week when that odd event occurs. It automatically calculates all of the key performance metrics you consider important to your business. It is not a one-size-fits-all solution but customized to the data your systems are capturing.

This solution ensures that all of the details, and all of the summaries, are synchronized across all of your systems so, if you want to look at sales, speed of service times, labor hours and customer feedback scores all detailed by day of week for only your Lunch meal period, the solution knows how to do this accurately and automatically. You can also report that same data for only your comparable stores, or for the 13th fiscal period because the solution knows how to do that as well.

The solution is to integrate your source system into a custom reporting platform. This is what we do here at Mirus. If you'd like to learn more, please reach out!

Thoughts?

What is the biggest hassle you are currently experiencing when building restaurant reports for your company?


Free Guide: 3 Basics to Harnessing Restaurant Big Data

About Mirus:

Mirus is a multi-unit restaurant reporting software used by operations, finance, IT, and marketing.

For more information, please visit:www.mirus.com

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