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Restaurant Analytics - Looks VS. Functionality

Posted by Dave

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Brains or Beauty?

What's more important, the way something looks and feels or the functionality and power behind the product? When you have been developing software for as long as we have, you hear it from both sides.

But it's important to find a medium, a middle ground you and your team can work with. Because at the end of the day, the combination of beauty and brains is what everyone is after!

Brains is Key

Many people may remember that special someone who you knew in college or high school. You know the one, the one you felt might have been out or your league. Great looks, really popular, everything you thought you needed at the time.

Then, you learned more about them. How they weren't quite as smart as you thought they were. And how disorganized they seemed to be in their personal life. Before long, you had enough and had the sad, sweet, goodbye talk.

In the world of data scientists, there is a similar attraction to various 'pretty' data visualization software. You know the names, I don't have to mention them here. The graphics are really pretty, works of art! They lure data scientists into believing they must render their results in the most flattering way possible, and make the case that the picture, not the results, are the main point.

Sometimes consumers who are just entering the market for BI solutions think that beautiful visuals is a sign of a company who will have data accuracy. It is easy to lose sight of the objectives of data analysis, and be lured astray. Data analysis is about discovery, learning something important that was not known before, finding an insight that makes someone's life better.

The goal, at the end of the day, is to quickly make the best decisions for your business. This is done through analysis which, doesn’t rely solely on pretty pictures. While simple reporting may benefit the consumers by presenting information graphically it’s at best useful for locating what happened not why.

What’s the difference between reporting and analysis?

  1. Reporting is the process of organizing data into informational summaries in order to monitor how different areas of a business are performing.
  2. Analysis, is the process of exploring data and reports in order to extract meaningful insights, which can be used to better understand and improve business performance.

In other words, Reporting translates raw data into information. Analysis transforms data and information into insights. Insights that lead to Action and Value.

Beauty Opens Eyes

An unattractive report, is just that... unattractive. Restaurant reports are not used by a single department. In fact, with the rise of millennial employees, reports that are more attractive may be easier to understand and more pleasant to comb through.

If a company solely focuses on data accuracy, they may be only attractive to number crunchers and old timers who do not embrace change.

Interactive visualizations also provide a new way of receiving data. If you enjoy "info-graphics" then you probably use KPIs. Impactful KPIs are impactful because they quickly communicate the message they were intended to communicate. Those visuals have to be gorgeous and clean to be used properly.

There is a physiological effect that occurs when a company uses software that is not visually pleasing, not clean, or visually organized. Even if the data is there and accurate, sometimes it just bothers people. It could be a professionalism thing. It may be unprofessional "looking" when sharing reports to others.

If you have the slightest bit of O.C.D., you would appreciate that newer restaurant management software are built to display large amounts of data as neatly as possible. Features such as accordion menus and shaded rows are in place to reduce confusion.

Accurate data and a working solution may trump visual business reports but why not get the best of both world?


We can go on and on debating what more important, looks or intelligence but what if we didn't have to? At Mirus, we have been focused on making the most accurate business intelligence software for multiple restaurants. But in the last few years, we have come to learn that looks and feel are just as important.

Check out our revamped dashboards to get a better understanding of how layout can make all the difference.

It's like the stories behind Apple. If functionality was all you needed to make a great computer, then Apple would not exist, right?

If you're in the market for a restaurant solution that can provide you with information to improve your operations, schedule a demonstration below!

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Are you interested in a multi-unit reporting platform? What do you currently use to monitor performance?

About Mirus:

Mirus Restaurant Solutions 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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