The Most Effective Data Cleaning and Normalization Platform in the Foodservice Industry

March 11, 2020 by Scott Turner

Restaurants and businesses in the gaming sector collect an incredible amount of data that leads to deep insights that improve productivity, increase profits, and provide information that leads to a better customer experience. Unfortunately, while some companies are optimizing their operations and procurement by analyzing and sorting through this data, others are letting this vital information go unprocessed.

With the advent of increasingly powerful POS systems, including those that integrate artificial intelligence (AI), third-party apps, CRMs, and loyalty programs, collecting massive amounts of information has never been easier. The hard part is analyzing, categorizing, and standardizing this data which includes removing outdated or incorrect information.

What’s left, once this process is complete, is “clean data.” According to Harvard Business Review, only 3 percent of data meets basic quality standards. The 97 percent that does not is often referred to as “dirty data” and it costs companies in the U.S. over $3 trillion each year.

The importance of clean data is confirmed by Professor Mohan Sodhi, the head of operations and supply chain management at Cass Business School, who shared this with CIPS, “Big and dirty data will only give false confidence. Clean data should be a priority. But it’s something companies have not paid direct attention to yet.”

In order to ensure clean data within their company, many restaurant chains are creating “data quality teams.” According to Business Intelligence Best Practices, these data quality professionals “manage how data is collected, standardized, and shared across the organization.” What emerges from this type of deep data dive is improved operating efficiencies, improved ability to comply with increasing regulations, and increasing profitability due to customer as well as procurement management.

Many, if not most, restaurants do not have the ability or inclination to hire an internal data management team. Fortunately, for those in this and other industries, InsideTrack, the most effective data cleaning and normalization platform in the foodservice industry, gives both small, independent as well as big, nationwide businesses the ability to integrate and use their data to the fullest. Let’s take a look at just what that means.


InsideTrack gives companies, including GPOs and manufacturers, the ability to perform several important processes including:

–Monitor contracts and verify every price for contract compliance. This includes contract audits that ensure companies are getting the right price from distributors.

–Earn greater rebates.

–Lower food and beverage costs. InsideTrack enables operators to make better supplier decisions, reduce cycle times, and target specified areas for reduced spending.

–Obtain high quality data that leads to best procurement negotiations and practices.

–A Spend Management Platform that tracks spend data in real time and creates reports by category, location, time frame, manufacturer, or vendor.

–Create easy-to-read dashboards from this massive amount of data.

–Compare purchasing data to commodity markets including a Price Trend Report that identifies price fluctuations.

An Insider’s Point-of-View

Tim Matanane, a procurement specialist that worked in the gaming sector for corporations such as Harrah’s Entertainment, Diamond Resorts, Pinnacle Entertainment and Caesars Entertainment, managed anywhere from $200 to $300 million in portfolio spend. Whatever company he worked for, he made it a point to take InsideTrack (then Buyers Edge Purchasing) with him.

He believes so enthusiastically in this platform, that he left the gaming sector after 20 years to become InsideTrack’s Senior Manager for Product Development and Customer Engagement. When asked what prompted him to make such a big change in his career, he had this to say, “I’m a big believer in the platform and the capabilities from a spend analytics viewpoint. When leveraged properly, it provides immense insight into a company’s or operation’s performance and gives them insight directionally—where they are going and on actual items.”

When asked what he felt was one of the biggest benefits InsideTrack produced for him in procurement, he stated, “I would say the centralization, standardization, and cleansing of the data which enabled me to do quick analysis.”

InsideTrack made sure that the information he received from the distributor lined up with the manufacturer’s numbers so that he could compare apples to apples. The cleansing also mapped the distributor’s product to the correct manufacturer’s item.

Because Matanane was a customer first, he understands the benefits this type of platform brings to businesses from a unique perspective, and he is excited about the tools they continue to develop to help businesses succeed.