Big data is pointless

July 30, 2014 | by Nate DaPore

Big data. Those two simple words produce 839,000,000 results in Google. You know it’s a hot topic right now when “World Cup” only produces 381,000,000. But here’s the thing. Big data is pointless. Your data – combined with external data – on the other hand, is priceless.

Don’t get me wrong. Restaurants like yours have access to tons of information about their customers, sales cycles, community perception and countless other data points, which all sounds great in theory. Except all that big data doesn’t do much good unless it can help you connect the dots and make better business decisions. Without that, you’re just stuck staring at a wall of numbers.

It’s time to make real meaning of your data. For instance, let’s say you manage a group of restaurants that are all successful, but two of your locations find it hard to attract new talent. What gives? How should you focus your recruiting efforts for those two locations so you get more eyes on your open positions and more applications in your inbox?

Simply logging into your workforce management platform shows your applicant pool is low. But you already knew that. Most HR platforms simply shell out statistical information about what’s already happened. Imagine if your platform could not only tell you the applicant pool is low, but also what you need to do fix the problem at each location.

For location #1, it suggests you advertise your job opening on a city bus or at the bus stop. For location #2, it suggests advertising in your local print or online newspaper.

Why such different suggestions? It all depends on each location’s unique data. Industry best practices in today’s job market show that online job boards and social media can be one of the best ways to recruit. But restaurant hiring isn’t one size fits all. Take the job boards and social media recruiting and combine them with the data pulled from your workforce management platform as well as external data, and you’ve got a new recipe for success.

Location #1 is in a bustling downtown area where most locals use the city bus as their main source of transportation. A city bus terminal is just steps away from your restaurant, so advertising your job openings on a city bus or at the bus stop for this location will get you the eyes of the people who are actively looking for jobs in your neighborhood.

However, location #2, which is just 10 miles away in a suburban neighborhood, is better suited for print or online newspaper advertising. That’s because the Baby Boomer generation in the area has a large unemployment population, and your store has great success with employees over age 50. Because this group still reads print and online newspapers as their primary source of information, you can get the most bang for your buck advertising here.

Finding the best team members just got a whole lot easier. And this is just the beginning, folks. Imagine the possibilities. What if your workforce management platform could recommend where to open new restaurants, how to treat employees so the best ones will stick around and how to know which team members are hidden gems with great management potential. Two more words for you: game changer.

PeopleMatter’s data scientists are analyzing thousands of data points specific to unique restaurants to help them understand, predict, and more importantly, prescribe how to make better business decisions. A restaurant’s HR data gives you just one view of your business. But add in local census data that covers county and neighborhood stats like community behaviors, weather, demographics, labor stats, income levels and even social media activity, and you’ve got a 360 degree view of your business. And here’s the best part – it’s all customized specifically for you.

Welcome to the future of HR.


Topics: Human Resources, Staffing & Training, Workforce Management

Nate DaPore
Nate DaPore, PeopleMatter President and Chief Executive Officer As the spirited leader of PeopleMatter, Nate is passionate about providing team members, including his own, with a rewarding workplace experience that values creativity and innovation. wwwView Nate DaPore's profile on LinkedIn

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