Now more than ever, big data is big business. In this article, we take a closer look at investment in business intelligence and customer data has been key to McDonald’s business development.
A Big Bite of Big Data
We all know McDonald’s. While they might not be willing to admit it, most people will have ordered there regularly for a quick, cheap meal or at least a one-off fast-food treat.
Since 1940, the fast-food chain has opened restaurants across the globe and established itself as the leading food service retailer worldwide.
Today, the chain runs more than 34,000 local restaurants serving nearly 70 million people in 118 different countries every day. And each year, US customers eat more than 1 billion pounds of beef at McDonald’s. This equates to 5.5 million head of cattle.
This incredible customer traffic means that McDonald’s hosts a wealth of customer data in their system.
However, for this data to be turned into measurable metrics and valuable business insights, the international chain is dependent on utilising business intelligence (BI) tools.
In this article, we explore how McDonald’s has successfully leveraged BI to improve its service and how the software procurement experts at YourShortlist can help you find your own BI solution.
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The Advantages of Business Intelligence
Business intelligence (BI) software is one of the most valuable resources at a company’s disposal and has created a rapidly expanding market, predicted to reach a total value of $33.1 billion by 2025.
Fundamentally, BI is about gathering and processing large volumes of information and insights from various business sources and using data visualisation tools to make it easily understandable for business leaders.
This data can contain customer information, purchase history, sales patterns, and market trends that can be used to optimise your business efforts.
When BI is used correctly, businesses can base all future decisions on data-driven intelligence. Other advantages include:
- Possibility of cost savings
- Time reductions and time optimisation
- New product development
- A deeper understanding of the market conditions
McDonald’s business development has publicly focused on BI and data-led technology for quite some time.
According to statements from the company’s 2017 growth plan, the fast-food giant set out to focus on “enhancing digital capabilities and the use of technology to dramatically elevate the customer experience.”
In the effort to properly leverage their BI data and optimise the service for personalisation, McDonald’s acquired Dynamic Yield, an Israeli start-up that uses big data to create personalised offers and experiences for customers.
Rumour has it that the Golden Arches paid nearly $300 million for the data analysis company, leaving it safe to assume they were well prepared for a Big Data revolution.
Using BI and Big Data to Optimise Customer Experiences
Now, McDonald’s business development hinges on analysing data collected within three different areas: the drive-thru experience, their mobile app, and the digital menus.
Together, these sources of data contribute to predictive analysis which can optimise the entire customer experience.
Enhancing the drive-thru experience
Waiting time in the drive-thru has long been a challenge for McDonald’s. For example, if a single customer must wait a long time, this will likely lead to a negative experience for the customer and less likelihood of them returning. With predictive analysis, it’s possible for the company to forecast when large numbers of drive-thru customers are likely to show up. From here, they can ensure that more employees are working the shift at that specific time.
Personalising the customer experience with mobile apps
The launch of McDonald’s proprietary app has been a great success so far. Their customers can easily order and pay for their food through the app and in return, the Golden Arches gets real-time access to vital customer intelligence. This data can be used to tailor specific offers to each customer, and thereby encourage repeat visits and an increase in sales.
The advantages of digital menus
These digital menus have been a huge asset to the fast-food chain. Continuously optimised and tweaked, these menus can change based on real-time data and customer information. The menus can change their options based on the weather, the time of the day and any big events happening in the local area. As an example, the digital menu can be used to promote cold drinks, McFlurry and fresh salads on a scorching hot day.
Leverage Your Own Business Insights with YourShortlist
Constantly tracking and analysing vast amounts of customer intelligence can enable McDonald’s to further changes to the menu, optimise its supply chain, or adjust the number of employees working on each shift.
As the fast-food chain continues to accelerate its data-driven efforts, it will be interesting to see where its big data investments will take them in the future.
Making data-driven infrastructure decisions can be vital for business growth, so any business looking to leverage this should consider adopting BI software as part of their overall operational analysis and reporting process.
If you’re looking to invest in a BI tool, YourShortlist can help make procurement and implementation easier, faster, and more cost-effective.
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