A lot of our customers operate in complex ecosystems where they have a lot going on, and with Looker we ensure that data isn’t one of the things they need to worry about.

Jeff Wrona

VP of Strategic Implementations

GoSpotCheck (GSC) is a mobile task management platform for enterprise teams that connects frontline workers with corporate goals and directives, creates a shared view of the field, and helps leaders make better decisions, faster. Organizations use GSC to improve daily program execution in operations, merchandising, sales, training, safety and quality assurance, capital expenditures and facilities management to impact topline and bottomline performance.

Most enterprise teams generate a tremendous amount of data, but have difficulty operationalizing it, unsiloing it, or surfacing insights to drive action from it. GSC understands the need to go above and beyond traditional business intelligence, and believes in continuous innovation, which is why they chose to partner with Looker to deliver advanced data experiences to their customers.

GSC’s creative use of both out-of-the-box and custom data solutions to unlock business value goes beyond traditional BI to deliver four categories of data experience, with innovative self-service models that fuel modern business intelligence, integrate insights into existing workflows, optimize existing workflows with data, and create tailored solutions with custom data applications--all built with Looker.

Delivering self-service with modern business intelligence

One way GSC delivers data access to customers is with modern real-time dashboards and reports integrated within its administrative platform.

A Top 5 fast casual restaurant company empowered its franchise owners with Looker dashboards embedded within the GSC platform, and one of those owners has completely embraced the tool to improve performance at his restaurant. The owner built custom dashboards and set them to auto refresh every two minutes. He then installed large monitors in the staff service area so his frontline team members could have full visibility to the location’s performance while they worked. These dashboards display real-time visualizations that prompt team members on which tasks to complete, help them monitor logistics including the temperatures of coolers and freezers to protect food safety, and motivate them with hourly sales and customer counts throughout the day. These real-time dashboards have helped to improve the performance of this particular location well above others in the franchise, and the franchise owner has now expanded the practice to multiple locations.

“It’s amazing to see what happens when we get GoSpotCheck and Looker into the hands of a business user who is motivated. They can accomplish things we wouldn’t dream of and use these platforms in ways that can set the pace of innovation for some of the biggest brands in the world,” shares Wrona.

A timely use case that has emerged in 2020 since the COVID-19 pandemic began involves the management of cleaning and sanitation efforts at schools, hospitals, entertainment venues, and offices as they slowly reopen and adjust to the ‘new normal.’ The GSC team has used Looker to create dashboards to help organizations track, visualize, and share inspection rates across locations to ensure they’re consistently meeting safety regulations and helping keep frontline workers safe.

“Some of our facilities management innovators are starting to use Looker dashboards to provide public-facing reporting on health and safety standards for cleaning,” explains Wrona. “One of the things we believe COVID will do is create consumer expectations of transparency from corporations--GSC and Looker are in a unique position to help organizations achieve transparency and demonstrate their commitment to public health and safety, which will ultimately lead to consumer trust and loyalty for the brands who take it seriously.”

In addition to helping GSC customers, the ease of building and customizing dashboards in Looker has been a huge time-saver and selling point for internal GSC teams. Wrona shares that “Our Customer Success Managers (CSMs) have embraced Looker--as soon as they started getting in there and building things, they saw how easy it was. Now we have CSMs handling requests on a customer call and they’re walking the customer through how to make a change in their BI models, or are able to do it for them with confidence. Before, this would have required technical labor to accomplish. Today, our Customer Success and Support teams can self-serve and meet fast-breaking customer requests in real-time, which really deepens our relationship with the customers we serve.”

Integrating insights into existing workflows

The GSC team recognized early on that the value of Looker extends far beyond modern BI reports and dashboards. One way they realized this additional value was to integrate insights into customer workflows by embedding relevant insights into the tools and products their customers already use, providing valuable context to users to make the business more effective.

For example, the category management team at a top apparel company tracks and visualizes market position and display compliance in large retailers and then integrates those insights with additional tools to understand the white space in the market for color, fabric, and more. The flexibility of the GSC and Looker platforms help the team integrate data across systems and visualize it to drive strategy and decision-making, and proliferate insights across functions.

Recently, the GSC team has developed an integrated image recognition and task management feature set that leverages computer vision, machine learning, and Looker to bring image recognition and next-level analysis to field sales reps on their mobile phones. GSC’s integrated image recognition and digital task management feature set was initially developed to help beverage suppliers and distributors who send field teams into retail and hospitality locations to identify their product’s market share, assortment, and position within coolers and cold vaults, and on menus quickly from an image. Field teams take a photo of products in a cooler or on a menu, and submit those images to be processed through proprietary machine learning models. Then, analytics about the image content are returned to the mobile device in under two minutes. GSC’s Looker-powered mobile data application provides an intuitive breakdown on the amount of product in the display, the brand’s percent of share, and the product assortment--something reps previously had to audit and calculate manually. Within a matter of seconds, field teams can see a data-driven breakdown of how their product is positioned against competitors, and if the placement meets contracted agreements with the retailer.

This feature set is being used by several global beverage brands, and the GSC team is working with human taggers to help train its proprietary algorithms to make the machine smarter in its accurate detection and recognition of products trained in its models. The GSC team also uses Looker to enable its internal managers to effectively plan and allocate human tagging resources to the most important backlogs.

“The sheer amount of data that our image recognition system is generating from a single image is quite impressive. When you consider a customer team with tens of thousands of field users, all taking 15-20 photos in each account they visit, and visiting 15-20 accounts per day, these customers are developing an extremely robust and granular data set to use for making critical decisions -- from stocking inventory to adjusting promotions -- with near real-time agility. Snowflake’s data scaling capabilities, combined with Looker’s data modeling and visualization expertise, have really allowed us to unlock the true power of this massive data set and create high-value aggregations based on each customer’s business logic to drive continuous innovation for our customers,” shares Wrona

Optimizing existing workflows with data

When integrating the Looker data application platform into its task execution platform, the GSC team also identified opportunities to optimize existing customer workflows by automating the decision-making process to significantly reduce and often eliminate manual intervention for field execution processes.

A common customer use case for GSC involves using the platform to help frontline team members report on what’s happening at different locations and allow corporate offices to monitor incoming results across the organization. For example, a national furniture retailer uses GSC to track in-store repair and maintenance requests and then initiate data-driven workflows when certain criteria are met. Upon identifying a need for repair or maintenance, district managers take a photo of the issue and submit it via the GSC platform that has been configured to automatically trigger an email to the company’s Repair & Maintenance team via Looker. This email then triggers a ticket to their work order management system. This process improved the speed and time to submit and complete work order requests which impact safety and customer experience standards. During the pilot, the data collected helped make a business case for increasing the maintenance budget to ensure that all tickets were addressed and stores could provide a first-class customer experience.

A national grocery merchandising broker relies on GSC and Looker to help its merchandisers and field sales reps optimize product placement and performance by tracking distribution, inventory, merchandising, Point of Purchase (POP) trade programs, and sales in thousands of grocery stores. Traditionally, brands invest tremendous resources to influence retailers to stock and feature specific products, and brokers need optimized ways to measure the ROI of promotions, displays, and merchandising services for their clients. The broker configured an alert within GSC to notify merchandisers when a particular item hasn’t been scanned at check-out within a given time period. When this condition is met, the GSC platform automatically notifies a brand representative to check on the product in the store, as well as re-engage with the location manager to identify additional high-value tasks such as upsells for that product that may have been sold out and unavailable to customers for a given time. Previously, this complex sales process was tracked manually, but now with a configured solution in the GSC platform triggering alerts and workflows, it’s much easier for the broker to identify trends and opportunities as well as ensure retailers are helping maintain appropriate stock levels for its brands.

Another customer, a top 10 consumer packaged goods brand, uses GSC to audit products as they are imported through ports of entry. Within the GSC platform, Looker powers automated alerts to flag if an inspection on an imported product fails. With these alerts, data is being used to track and trigger notifications to alert specific people who must take action if a shipment doesn’t meet standards to reduce risk, and protect brand equity.

Creating tailored solutions with custom data applications

To further help their customers optimize functions or meet a specific business objective, the GSC team also designs and develops purpose-built and fully custom data applications on Looker. These use cases require a sophisticated user experience tailored precisely to the desired data-driven user behavior they need to operationalize.

A top global spice manufacturer utilizes a custom data application powered by GSC and Looker to combine sales and product scan data from multiple systems of record to empower frontline merchandisers and sales reps with the context they need to take action directly from within the same application to increase revenue. This allows the manufacturer’s non-technical field sales teams to analyze regional sales performance alongside merchandising data. This helps them allocate labor toward the best selling locations to ensure premium product placement in the highest volume stores, and sufficient staffing to support the most strategic locations.

With purpose-built data applications, GSC helps its customers get the full context of what’s happening in their business in real-time with a great user experience that transforms insight into action to produce better business outcomes.

Read the full case study

  • By combining the flexibility of the GSC and Looker platforms, the GSC team has created customized data experiences that transform business outcomes for diverse enterprise teams, and its own internal users
  • Switching to Looker resulted in numerous time savings, including a 70% decrease in report building time
  • Since implementing Looker, Fivetran, and Snowflake, GSC’s data pipeline now returns insights to customers 95% faster
  • As of Fall 2020, GSC has completed 225 custom projects, and serves Looker insights to almost 9,000 users a month
  • In addition to delivering insights to customers, the GSC team uses Looker internally to monitor customer health signals, manage customer and industry portfolios, track corporate scorecard metrics, and more.

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