When Denise Brown first came in as the Controller for Seattle’s wildly popular Molly Moon’s ice cream—or as she better describes her role, the “ice cream mathematician”—everything was tracked on pencil and paper, from payroll and staffing, to inventory. Knowing how powerful data can be when it’s collected, organized, analyzed, and viewed in thoughtful ways, Brown set out to start doing just that using the available technology.
Brown wanted to gather and analyze data not only so she could better understand the business, but so that she could share that data with others in the company to see what insights they could glean from it. Since then, she has created a staffing tool that creates schedules in a snap—all based on past sales and attendance data. The shops also track which flavors sell best, as well as employee happiness. And having just opened a new shop in Seattle’s Columbia City, it’s clear that tracking data is good for business. Here are just five ways Denise is confident your small business can benefit from data analysis tools:
- “Your operational processes will be more efficient.
I built a system of spreadsheets that allowed us to look at historical sales data, along with our payroll data from the past, and build a tool that led us to determine how we wanted to schedule our shops for the year ahead. It took a process that used to take weeks and made it something you could get a draft of in 20 minutes.