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Restaurants: Building Your Own Data Warehouse Is Senseless

Posted by Dave

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The restaurant business is complex, much more so than customers would typically believe. We have lived through an explosion of new software tools that help restaurant operators manage this complexity and in the process they have created a new dilemma; understanding it all.

Before you can understand what the data is telling you, you need a solution built to accept all the different types of data your systems creates. And I mean all forms of data.

Spreadsheets Are Not Helping

When it comes to managing data, for the past two decades, we have observed restaurants trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Initially, people attempted to get the data from their new software to fit into either their POS or back office solutions. Both of these types of systems capture and maintain a lot of data but they are inherently mission-specific, meaning they are designed to manage a limited set of data.

Adding new types of data is very difficult for POS and back office systems. For most companies, the only way to tie data from disparate systems has been spreadsheets. Most of them would concede this is far from optimal. Human error, labor intensive, and timeliness of the data are major concerns with spreadsheet daily reporting, and there are many more concerns.

Employees come and go, and so do the people who built those spreadsheets. The people who take their place never know how the spreadsheets work as well as the creators, so future changes or enhancements take longer. In extreme cases, companies feel trapped and become paranoid that the spreadsheet will “break” and they will be left with nothing.

Why Building Your Own Data Warehouse is Silly

In the last decade or so, some companies have decided to build their own solution using data warehouse or business intelligence software (BI). All of the big tech companies offer their flavor of this solution, some more capable than others. But, none of that software is prepared to meet the needs of restaurant companies out of the box.

The software doesn’t know what a guest check is, or what a fiscal calendar is, or what a comparable store versus a non-comparable store is. You can program this knowledge into the software, but it is on your dime, and if it isn’t designed well, you will live with the consequences for years. Keep in mind that the software sales person and the consultants they introduce to you are not a reliable source for the time and money it takes to build your own data warehouse and BI system. The risks and upfront money are significant.

That's why we created Mirus. We understand restaurant data. Where it comes from, how it relates to other data, and how new types of data will be connected to existing data. We understand how restaurants want to study and analyze their data; and we deliver the key features the big tech companies provide in their software. Techniques vary from company to company but the methods for slicing and dicing the data are built in Mirus. As we discover new methods of analysis, we make them available to all of our clients – at no additional cost.

We know about same-store-sales, that every 5-6 year a fiscal calendar creates a 53 rd week, that it is important to preserve history (eg. The Comparable Stores in February 2019) so you can accurately recreate reports. Our Account Management team come from restaurants, and they know how to help you achieve your data analysis objectives; a built-in coach.

We reduce your risk because you can see the solution working before you sign. You don’t have to guess about the features and functionality you will have with Mirus. You don’t have to worry if Mirus is reliable, or a good partner, we are happy to connect you with our clients so they can tell you about their experience. We nearly eliminate the upfront costs of doing it yourself.

It is routine for a DIY data warehouse project to cost more than $100,000 in the first year between consultants, hardware and software. Many of our clients spent less than $10,000 to implement Mirus and fully deploy their initial solution.

And if that is not reason enough to think twice before going down the DIY path, consider this, you are never tied to Mirus for the long term unless you want to be. Our clients can exit at any time for any reason with 60 days notice. No termination fees.

The Real Cost of DIY BI CTA

About Mirus:

Mirus provides services in data management and solutions in custom reporting for the restaurant industry.

Watch Mirus demo and client insight videos on our YouTube Channel

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Topics: Restaurant Data Warehouse, Restaurant IT


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