Startup Floodlight Analytics helps venues make sense of data

Sydney startup aims to help bars and restaurants analyse sales data

Sydney-headquartered startup Floodlight Analytics offers a software-as-a-service application that helps small and medium businesses, particularly those in the hospitality sector, make better use of their data.

The rise of cloud-based point of sale systems such as Kounta means a lot of small businesses potentially have access to rich data about their operations, Floodlight co-founder Matt Nunney said.

“Often the people who are running venues don’t have time to look at the data, or don’t have the skill set to, or just can’t get the data out of [POS system],” he said.

The inspiration for the startup came from the efforts of Nunney and co-founder Jim Barlow to help a friend make sense of transaction data at a bar he managed.

“We built a solution for him and realised that this was actually a wider problem that everyone was facing,” Nunney said. “We saw there was some great potential to actually go in and help small businesses utilise that data.

Floodlight has been operating for around a year and a half and closed a seed funding round late last year.

“Typically within hospitality people are extremely time poor and/or they are very much focused on the products that they sell rather than wanting to sit down and spend a lot of time crunching numbers,” the Floodlight co-founder said.

“People typically don’t have any idea of how to do regression analysis and neither should they really be expected to,” he added.

The platform connects to a POS system through its API, collates and stores transaction data and then presents it back to the end user as a series of curated views.

“Rather than build a business intelligence platform, where you can build any view that anyone could ever want, we present data in a way that we know people working in hospitality will find very useful,” Nunney said.

Nunney said that within an hour of setting up Floodlight, a customer can get access to eight views that show data over various time periods as well as weekly trends, product views and category views.

“The idea is again we show people what they need to know see without them having to do anything,” Nunney said.

Since the platform’s launch, the Floodlight team has built out a number of additional modules to meet the needs of particular categories of customers. They include Floodlight Focus, which can export data for customers that want to perform further analysis. Another one, dubbed Floodlight Pulse, provides real-time analytics for venues.

“It shows people exactly how their hospitality venue is performing to the second, which is super helpful,” Nunney said. “A lot of hospitality venues run on gut feel or intuition; this enables people to see exactly how they’re doing at any point and also more importantly it also helps some of the owners or managers who may not even be in the venue see what’s happening at any point in time.”

Another system can integrate with Xero add-on Deputy to overlay staff cost data, while Multisite can bring together data from multiple venues.

“We’ve ended up with a platform that ticks all of the boxes in terms of how hospitality venues might be organised and then also satisfies all of the different personas that work in those venues,” Nunney said.

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