Self Service Analytics

Self-service tool empowers Bistro Pierre managers to analyse key sales data

Project: change++ provided Bistrot Pierre with a simple-to-implement, simple-to-use tool that it could use to analyse data from its Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) systems.

 

Services: Self Service Analytics, Business Intelligence (BI), Database Design

 

Results: The solution reduced the manual workload and technical difficulty of analysing EPOS data, giving managers the ability to self serve and plan operational strategy, budgets and resources.

 

 

The client

Bistrot Pierre was founded in 1994 by Robert Beacham and his childhood friend John Whitehead. They first operated two successful Pierre Victoire franchises in Nottingham and Derby and, a few years later, rebranded the restaurants as Bistrot Pierre. The company has grown steadily, and now has over 20 restaurants throughout the UK serving classic provincial French dishes.

 

Their needs

The management team at Bistrot Pierre was happy with the steady growth of the company but needed a more efficient way to measure and monitor results against key performance indicators (KPIs) to facilitate the planning of operational strategy, budgets and resources.

 

Although most of the data required to manage the business was held in Bistrot Pierre’s existing systems and databases, the team was concerned about data consistency and how readily this data could be extracted and consolidated to provide effective management information.

 

The management team also wanted to reduce the amount of manual work required to manipulate and analyse the data. Creating reports required a high-level system knowledge, which led to dependencies and heavy workloads for managers, diverting them from valuable business growth activities.

 

Hospitality sector specialist in reporting and business analytics, change++, was asked to propose a Business Intelligence solution to meet the changing needs of the group.

 

What we did

We created a simple-to-use tool that combines data from Bistro Pierre’s EPOS systems to generate reports. We designed the BI application specifically to make it suitable for use by the finance team, all experienced Excel users.

 

The first phase of the project was to implement change++’s hospitality data warehouse model to underpin the flexible reporting requirement. This enables Bistrot Pierre to generate vital ‘sales mix’ reports and addresses the following types of query:

  • Sales volumes and revenues – by site, sales area and session.
  • A dish’s performance (sales volume and revenue) compared to a previous year, by site, region and whole business.
  • Effectiveness of loyalty schemes and promotions.
  • Spend per head – i.e. gross sales per cover. This can be analysed in different ways, including split by session and spend on promotions versus a la carte spend.

 

For the reporting solution we used Microsoft’s Power BI, which is designed for self-service and is easily accessible using native apps for Windows, iOS, and Android. We also used Azure SQL Database to take advantage of a cloud infrastructure and provide reliability and scalability.

 

The benefits

change++ provided Bistrot Pierre with a flexible and comprehensive Business Intelligence system, underpinned by a data warehouse that can combine data from a range of disparate sources.

 

As the infrastructure makes use of Microsoft’s Azure cloud services, there are no capital costs, the solution can be dynamically scaled, and it is available from anywhere or any device with internet access. This provides the foundation for all future performance reporting and analysis.

Microsoft’s Power BI, a suite of business analytics tools, provides users – head office teams and regional managers – with self-service dashboards, flexible reporting and sophisticated analytics.

 

Multiple benefits include:

  • Management is now closer to performance data than ever before, and able to take action more quickly.
  • High level dashboards of KPIs can be viewed on tablets or smartphones, with the capability to ‘drill down’ to and filter operational data.
  • All reports are available on compatible Windows, Android and iOS devices via the Power BI Mobile app
  • The cloud-based solution means there is no requirement to manage on-site infrastructure, servers and systems, significantly reducing the total cost of ownership.
  • A reduction in the manual labour required to analyse data and produce reports.
  • Reduced dependency on specialised knowledge – preventing bottlenecks and lowering the risk of business disruption.

 

According to Laura Cox, Commercial Accountant and Systems Manager, at Bistrot Pierre, “We recognised the importance of investing in a BI system that is scalable and can meet performance management information needs as the group expands. We’re confident that change++ has delivered a solution that can grow with the business and we are already reaping the benefits of improved insight.”