Lightspeed Analytics acquires its sales and inventory data from Lightspeed Retail POS. However, many of the reports in Analytics illustrate action points and trends differently from the built-in Retail reports. When attempting to balance reports in Analytics and in Retail, it's important to make sure the reports are actually equivalent.
Lightspeed Retail POS is a live service, so its data is always up to date. Lightspeed Analytics, however, synchronizes with Retail every 2-3 hours, so this means current data in Analytics doesn't include up to the past 2-3 hours' worth of data.
This is important to keep in mind when specifying a date range for a report, but it's also important to note that Retail's end date is inclusive, while Analytics's end date is exclusive. To run a report for the entire month of January, specify the date range of Jan. 1 to Jan. 31 in Retail, and Jan. 1 to Feb. 1 in Analytics.
What the report means
When comparing reports between Retail POS and Analytics, it's important to understand what each report is doing with the data, and what data is included and what data is not included.
The terminology used in Retail POS and Analytics is not always synonymous, and there isn't always a one-to-one correspondence between metrics:
While these terms differ between platforms, Costs, Profit, and Margins are the same.
One of the more popular reports in Analytics is the Dusty Inventory report, which helps you identify the items in your inventory that have not sold recently (see Configuring Lightspeed Analytics to find out what counts as recently sold). If your Retail POS account has multiple shops, however, the Dusty Inventory report doesn't limit itself to your current shop—it will show you items that have not sold recently at any shop.
If you'd like to isolate dusty items from a particular shop, you can add the Store dimension to the report to check at which location items have not been selling. You can also filter the report by store location to check the results for that shop alone. Learn more about customizing reports here or visit our video library.
It's also worth noting that inventory reports do not report on the sale quantity of non-inventory items. This is important to remember if you're comparing an inventory valuation report with sales included in it with a sales report from Retail.
Through the Configuration section of Analytics, it's possible to hide select top-level categories from inventory reports. It's important to be aware of which categories are hidden when comparing reports.
Not all reports are designed to balance with other reports
If two reports were meant to show the same information the same way, that would be redundant. If you're comparing reports and find that they do not balance with one another, consider whether or not this is expected, given the differences in terminology and what the included data means. If you want to see matching numbers in Analytics and Retail for peace of mind, it is possible to add Calculations to an Analytics report to create metrics that will align with the reports in Retail POS.
Learn more about adding Calculations to a report in Analytics on our Lightspeed Community forums.