Data Integrity

Potential Flaws in Key Metrics

All data has flaws and limitations. Most data analysis tools ignore these flaws or try to hide them.

But Manage My Business is a different kind of product from a different kind of company. We believe in full transparency to help ensure you never make a bad decision because of flawed data.

Great efforts have been made so that every metric is accurate, complete and provided in full context. If you ever find an example where this may not be true, please contact us immediately at and we'll make it our top priority to research the issue and quickly fix it if an error is found.

Here are three metrics that have limitations:

Tipping Rate

Since Manage My Business does not know what cash tips (if any) were collected by your busienss, the tipping rate is calculated by dividing non-cash tips (i.e., those tracked by your POS system) by the non-cash sales (i.e., orders placed using credit cards, gift cards, Apple Pay, etc. where the customer can offer a non-cash tip).

This metric should be directionally correct given that cash tips and credit card tips tend to be correlated, but not if your customers tend to be much more (or much less) generous with cash tips than credit card tips.

This metric is most useful when looking at trends over time. For example, a noticeable decline in the Tipping Rate could indicate that your customer service is slipping. In this example, it's likely a decline in credit card tips is accompanied by a similar decline in cash tips.

Repeat Customers / Frequent Customers

A similar problem exists in tracking repeat customers. POS systems are able to uniquely identify a customer based on the credit card used in the transactions, as well as additional information they may collect. The flaw is that not all customers are tracked, such as those using cash. In addition, a customer that uses a different credit card than a previous purchase could be counted as two distinct customers.

To minimize the impact of this limitation, the Repeat Customers metric is calculated by dividing the number of tracked customers that placed more than one order by the total number of tracked customers. As such, customers using cash are completely excluded from this metric. The same calculation is done for the Frequent Customers metric, except that it uses customers that placed 10 or more orders (rather than 2+ orders for the Regular Customers metric).

As with the Tipping Rate metric, these customer loyalty metrics are valid as long as your loyal customers tend to use cash and credit cards with the same frequency as the non-loyal customers. For example, if you observe that your most loyal customers always use cash and never use credit cards, this metric should be discounted or ignored. This is typically not the case, but every business is different.

Finally, it's worth noting that "sales" can have many different definitions depending on the usage. For clarity, the definitions of all metrics in Manage My Business are based on measuring performance – which may be different than definitions for accounting or tax purposes.

For example, here are the criteria for calculating today's sales:

  • Orders completed today are included, even if the order is paid or fulfilled at a later date. (There will be more flexibility in an upcoming release.)
  • Sales taxes are not included.
  • Tips are not included.
  • Service charges are not included by default, but there is an option to do so.
  • The full amount of the delivery service order is included, but there is an option to deduct the delivery commission.

On a related note, refunds adjust the sales total on the original order date. For example, if an order for $1,000 on January 1 is fully refunded on January 8, the sales total for January 1 will be reduced by $1,000. Even though that refund occurred on January 8, from a performance perspective, it doesn't make sense to count that order as $1,000 in sales on January 1 and a negative $1,000 in sales on January 8. That would only lead to bad decisions. Obviously, the rules for refunds may be different for accounting or tax purposes.

The underlying principle for performance analytics is to always focus on what help you make the most accurate and best-informed decisions. If you have any questions or disagreements with this approach, please reach out at