Best-in-class merchants are using advanced business intelligence (BI) solutions to provide executives with a wealth of store-level and chainwide data. With this information readily accessible at any time and across devices, team members have the knowledge and resources to improve the customer experience and in turn, boost bottom-line results.
With more than 850 locations nationwide, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group is one of the largest operators and franchisors of specialty bagel restaurants in the U.S. Specializing in bakery-café fare such as specialty coffees, bagels, pastries, wraps and sandwiches, the Einstein Noah Restaurant Group brands include: Einstein Bros., Noah’s and Manhattan Bagel.
In 2013, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group launched a major business intelligence initiative and increased investment in MicroStrategy, according to Daniel Cunningham, SVP of IT for Einstein Noah Restaurant Group. Although the company had been a MicroStrategy customer for more than a decade, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group recently upgraded to the latest version of the solution and added mobile application licensing.
Selecting MicroStrategy as the merchant’s enterprise analytics standard was “an easy decision,” said Cunningham in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We knew launching a mobile application would be critical to gain buy-in, and MicroStrategy is the only solution provider that provides that as an integrated part of their solution.”
With the update, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group executives have access to a complete BI solution that offers company leadership access to store-level information, such as location sales and staff performance. Executive management, as well as senior operations managers, including Regional Vice Presidents, Directors of Operations and Area Business Managers, have access to the solution.
Einstein Noah Restaurant Group is using MicroStrategy Mobile to better monitor restaurant evaluation information gathered via customer feedback surveys. Sales and cost information for specific products from all stores will be combined with customer service ratings, which will provide company leadership with a more detailed view of store and staff performance.
Adding Ease To Data Management And Analysis
Overall, the adoption and response to the new solution has been “overwhelmingly positive,” Cunningham said. “We rolled the solution with iPads, and since people have already become comfortable using tablets and the native functionality, they have had little issue learning and using the new solution.”
The Einstein Noah Restaurant Group team also designed the MicroStrategy mobile application so data is seamlessly organized and presented. “This makes it easy for our users to find the information they need. Whether we leverage the mobile application, web-based reporting or deliver reporting through email, MicroStrategy provides a single solution for us to disseminate our data/information in the most effective way possible.”
Typically, organizations have to collect and integrate hoards of data in Excel and analyze it manually. The MicroStrategy solution, however, allows Einstein Noah Restaurant Group to evolve from traditional grid reports and access the same information in a highly visual, interactive environment via a desktop, laptop or even a tablet.
“In the past, for the leadership to review [company] information, they would have to open up their laptop, download the reports and then review them,” Cunningham explained. “Now, they have this information readily and easily available. They can spend less time getting the information, and more time reviewing and analyzing it.”
With such a breadth and depth of data and information available, traditional grid environments force employees to “hunt and peck to find a trend,” Cunningham explained. “Highly visual functionality like heat maps show the information in a format that makes it easy to identify areas for focus. Highly interactive functionality — such as drill down and through — enables thought analysis. As the user is reviewing the information and formulating questions, they are able to leverage the solution to answer their questions.”
Although executives are embracing visual analytics and interactive functionality, the Einstein Noah Restaurant Group team still refers to grid reporting when needed. The MicroStrategy platform gives users the option to switch seamlessly between these standard grid reports and more visual formats to meet their unique needs.
At the end of 2013, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group acquired additional web-based licenses for MicroStrategy, so the solution can eventually be extended to store managers and employees. When the solution is rolled out at the store level, team members will have access to information from location PCs. However, “as the solution continues to evolve, we continue to evaluate the best way to deliver the solution to our end users.”
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