Data mining what it can do for you

Today data mining is a buzz word. It is of course much more than that as it is the next generation of reporting in point of sale systems. It is where the system can actually act as an advisor to the owner of the business.

It is so important that many people today lie and claim that their systems can do it. In fact there are a couple of systems in the market that can do it now, ours is one of those that can do it. The problem is not just that they do not have an AI or a data mining engine; the data set up to feed these but also they do not know what they are doing as it needs specialised skills to understand it. Despite what some say it's much more than just a few graphs and numbers on a report.

However, those that have the right tools, and you know what you are doing, it can give great insights into what is happening.

Here is a simple example of ePay sales in a shop to show you what it can do. ePay is an integrated option in our system that allows among other products our clients to sell phone cards.

Here is what the number of ePay sales per day over six years look like.

As you can see it appears that the number of sales are going down every year, if so why?

So what I did was take all this data out of the point-of-sale system and added some more and next feed it into our data mining engine. I after that asked the data mining engine to investigate what is happening.

It quickly came up with a result that showed the sales were dropping.

What is stated was the number of sales of ePay was about 3 every day, in the summer months, you could add one in summer plus about 23% of each tobacco sales minus one a day since the introduction of the government policy that tobacco products had to be hidden from the public view. The last is quite a lot, since they have hidden the tobacco, they have lost an ePay sale a day. But overall, it was the drop in tobacco sales that was responsible for the decline in ePay sales.

When I decided to check, as you can actually see that days that have bad tobacco sales do tend to have bad ePay sales. The bad figures clump together on the bottom left.

Now I decided to see whether it can tell us more, it did and its quite interesting.

It is not that summer is so good but the people that are buying magazines in summer that are the cause of the increase in ePay sales and in winter in general people there have less interest in ePay products. Furthermore, that the people that are buying tobacco in his shop are progressively less interested in ePay so either the shop is doing something wrong with ePay in the shop and/or the market is changing.

So what actionable information does this give the shop owner now. Well, people that buy tobacco products have to be made aware that the shop has an ePay service and what it does, as do in summer the magazine buyers. These simple changes should result is quite a few extra sales.

If you are interested in learning more, let us know as there are major changes in the software industry now, they are not the same and you need to ask yourself whether the software you are using now, is in the direction you require.