Clover Insights for Business Analytics
Clover Insights is a business analytics app available from First Data - one of the largest credit card processors, handling nearly half of all US credit and debit transactions. The company also processes Apple Pay and gift card transactions for major brands like Starbucks.
In 2014, First Data launched Insightics, an online reporting platform that offers real-time tracking of internal sales data and metrics, along with insights on local businesses. To streamline branding, Insightics was renamed Clover Insights alongside its most recent update.
We looked at the program to find out what it offers and what businesses may benefit from it.
Clover POS Integration
Clover Insights is integrated into the Clover Station POS platform, an all-in-one, cloud-based POS system that includes the tablet, station, receipt printer, and cash drawer. It’s both EMV and PIN capable and has Apple Pay integrated.
First Data also offers the Clover Mini and Mobile terminals, which allow you to accept card and digital payments on your legacy cash register.
Each Clover POS includes a proprietary app marketplace that allows business owners to personalize the POS and reporting. Clover insights is integrated into the platform and automatically imports the necessary information, syncing well with the variety of applications available in the Clover App Market.
However, Clover POS hardware isn’t necessary to utilize Clover Insights, as it’s available for download from the iOS App Store and is accessible through the Clover Go mobile payment app in the Android Play Store that works with the Clover Go contactless, chip, and swipe mobile card reader.
Although the Clover POS platform and marketplace makes it easier to access real-time data, it can also be imported from other POS systems and merchant services. Big banks like SunTrust, Citi, PNC, and Bank of America merchant services utilize Clover Insights as do Ignite Payments, Velocity Merchant Services and other companies that run on the First Data platform.
First Data is constantly working to add more partners, and it’s important to know there are separate marketplaces for the U.S. and U.K. This means some partnerships may be exclusive to one country.
Clover Insights is currently available as a stand-alone iOS app for Apple iPhones. It’s somewhat integrated into Clover Go on Android and iOS, but reporting is limited. It can also be accessed by logging in to your merchant account at Clover.com.
Regardless of the platform, Clover Insights uses First Data’s TransArmor encryption and tokenization technology to keep all sensitive data secure while in transit between your devices and the company’s cloud networks.
Related Article: Do you need TransArmor Security?
The most prominent feature of Clover Insights is the ability to access reporting through a variety of devices. These reports include daily revenue, transaction reporting, customer history, busiest hours, and more. For these reports to function correctly, data must be synced correctly from your current POS system, which can be tricky if you’re not using Clover’s proprietary platform.
Although real-time reporting through Clover’s platform translates well to Clover Insights, some customers have reported delays of up to 24 hours in accessing some data. Be aware that although installation is quick, it may take some time to set things up correctly.
Because Clover Insights is utilized by so many businesses and financial institutions, it also allows you to see general transactional, spending, and revenue reports for nearby businesses through the iOS app. This data is often delayed by up to several days but is historical, so you can see how your business compares to others over time.
Small- and medium-sized businesses don’t always have access to the data and analytics necessary to forecast foot traffic, sales, and revenue. First Data has made this type of data available to major brands for years and is hoping Clover Insights will provide the same powerful resources to smaller companies.
In addition to simple bar and line graphs, Clover Insights can also display a heat map that lets you see revenues and foot traffic around the city to see if other businesses are performing similarly. Using this data marketing efforts can be tied to sales, you can collaborate or compete more efficiently with other businesses, fraud patterns can be detected, and more.
It’s also possible to check industry trends in other cities. Instead of comparing your jewelry shop to the ice cream parlor next door, you can find out how it compares to jewelry shops in every city and town across the country.
More details on how to use Clover Insights for competitor analysis are available here.
Although First Data rebranded its Insightics program to Clover Insights, it retains its core functionality as a data collection, analytics, and reporting system for retail businesses. Clover insights works much better when integrated into Clover’s full POS platform, but it’s also compatible with a variety of partner merchant banks and payment processors.
Unfortunately, Android isn’t one of those partners yet, so you may have difficulty using it without an iPhone or iPad. You can access Clover’s mobile website, but it’s not very convenient on a mobile device. It also has delays in receiving data from other POS platforms and troubleshooting can get tricky.
Overall, Clover Insights is a useful program with basic internal and competition reporting that makes it helpful for small and medium businesses looking to quantify their business efforts. It does have its flaws, however, including lack of customizable reporting and data sync issues. Be aware of this before integrating it into your business.
Do you use Clover Insights? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned freelance writer focused on business and technology. His work appears in Huffington Post, Fast Company, and The Street.