How can small businesses leverage point of sale data to make informed decisions? Big Data sounds often like Big Business, but the power of data is available even to small businesses without extensive resources. Point of sale data coupled with Excel and basic statistical knowledge can be leveraged to drive informed decisions and make businesses data driven.
A group of Cornell University graduate students from my class “Designing Data Products” set out to help an iconic yet small family owned restaurant on the Jersey Shore to leverage its point of sale data, to make informed decisions around inventory management.
The Circus Drive-In Restaurant serves approximately 100,000 customers looking to explore the beaches in the summer. Due to its close proximity to the shore, the primary driver of customer numbers is the weather. “The unpredictability of the weather makes inventory management extremely difficult,” says Richard Rose, co-owner, and general manager. The restaurant’s top sellers are the fresh, made-to-order burgers. “We do not use frozen meat for our burgers”, says Rose.