Working with the Rain System Data
The Rain system has a powerful reporting suite, and with it, you can find any data you might need for your business needs. Read further to explore the Reports Dashboard, how to work with Date ranges, and how to Filter and Output your reports as needed.
You can get to this part of the system by clicking Reports in the blue Admin Toolbar, then clicking either your Dashboard or the specific report you need.
The Reports Dashboard
Your Dashboard can show you some very illuminating information about your sales volume over time. For example, in the sample store below, we can see by looking at the Daily Sales over a month that on weekends, sales are consistently high, starting with Saturday the 1st, Friday the 7th, Friday and Saturday the 14th and 15th, and so on. When our sample store had a big sale on Wednesday the 5th, we had our largest sales day of the month.
If we look at the Hourly Sales for a good sales day, we'll use Friday the 28th, we can see what time of day we typically have our highest volume of sales. This is a great way to plan staffing needs for peak hours. We can also look at how our sales revenues build up throughout the month using the Monthly Cumulative Sales graphic.
Configuring Date Ranges in Your Reports
Many of the Rain system reports allow you to view data for specific dates or ranges of dates. For our example, we're going to look at the End of Day Summary, one of the most useful reports in our suite. The End of Day report starts out showing you the sales data for Today, but if you click on the Date field, a drop-list of Date Options will open for you. Some common choices are premade for you, so you can view Yesterday, the Last 7 Days, This Month (so far), and Last Month with a single click. You can also click to view a Custom Range of whatever dates you like. You'll use the Apply button whenever you pick a Custom Range, as described below.
When working with a Custom Range of dates, you'll see calendars for the From Date and the To Date, from left to right, respectively. You can either type in the dates you want in the field above each month, or use the arrows to go to whatever month you like. Be sure that each calendar has the date you want highlighted, you'll see the Apply button active in green, and you can click it to show the data for the range you want.
Applying Filters to Your Reports
You can limit the data a report displays by applying a Filter. One of the most flexible reports offered by the Rain system is the Transaction Detail report. It allows you to filter in a large number of ways. This report has two major modes; it can either show you data for Items sold, or data organized by Department. After you choose your date range, you could look at item sales for just your Tools category, for example. Within your results for Tools, you could further limit the output to the items sold from a single Vendor.
Please note that some reports, especially the ones that load Item sale data, can become overloaded if you try for a long time range. If you have a high volume of sales, you may need to limit your searches to quarterly or even monthly results. You will know you have exceeded the report's memory capacity if the screen 'freezes' while trying to load. If this happens, hit the Back button on the browser, then reload the report for a shorter time frame.
Also note that when you open a drop list for a Filter, for example, All Categories, the only ones that will display are the ones that actually had sales during the period you are viewing.
Most of the Reports in the suite are able to output results in one or two ways:
- Print - You will want to Print your reports on full sized paper (8.5" x 11"), and this tool will format the output to be printer-friendly.
- Export - Your data will Export to a CSV (comma separated values) file that you can save to your computer. This simple data format opens in any spreadsheet program and is the standard format our system uses for working with bulk data. This is an excellent way to back up monthly data, such as your Inventory Value report, which generates data only for the current day, so we recommend backing it up monthly so you can track your inventory value throughout the year.
Coming Up Next: Learn how to work with the reports that track transaction and item sale data.