Point of sale softwares make life easier for retailers. These tools collect useful data to successful storesl. A question therefore arises: where is the data of a POS software stored?
More often than not, POS data is stored in the cloud. There are, however, point of sale softwares that store data elsewhere. Here are some locations where point of sales data is stored:
- Cloud storage
- Local database
- Hybrid solution (cloud and local)
But before getting into the locations where POS data is stored, let’s learn more about this data.
Data Stored in Point of Sale Systems
POS software collects all kinds of data: transaction data, inventory data, customer data, employee data, payment data, etc. This type of software also records accounting data and many other data very useful to a store manager.
To learn more about what a point of sale software tracks, click here.
This data is stored on the internet, locally, or both.
Now here are the types of locations where POS data is stored.
Nowadays, the majority of point of sale softwares are cloud-based and store data in the cloud, online. In this context, data is held in remote servers in multiple locations around the world. This prevents a situation where an incident completely disrupts the operation of a business.
The cloud enables users to utilize and access computing resources without the need to possess and upkeep hardware themselves. These are computing resources such as storage, apps or databases.
Having a cloud-based point of sale software is especially useful for owners of multi-stores or businesses with a physical store and an online store. Cloud storage makes it possible to synchronize data from different sources. It also enables access to real-time data, anywhere and anytime.
Data security risks are also reduced with cloud-based POS software. They are less vulnerable to hackers or data theft. The impact of hardware damage or failures is also less significant when using a cloud-based software.
Alice POS is an example of cloud-based point of sale software. Beyond the storage of data on the internet, Alice POS offers many features. These are equally useful to multi-store managers, franchisees and single store owners. Discover here all the reasons to choose a software connected to the Internet.
Cloud storage can also take more than one form, such as vendor-specific databases and external data warehousing solutions.
Some companies that develop a point of sale software have their own data storage infrastructure. In such a case, the data collected by the POS software is stored on the vendor’s servers. The stores have access to the data through the point of sale software offered by the vendor.
Is installing a new point of sale software safe? Click here for the answer.
The purpose of such storage is for it to work seamlessly with the POS software and be compatible with the elements of the POS system. Vendors can opt for this storage to simplify data management.
Third-Party Data Warehousing
Some companies choose to store all their data in third-party data warehouses. These data storage services are useful for centralizing and managing data from different sources in the company, including the point of sale system. This centralization makes it possible to make a complete and secure storage of the data.
This type of storage is convenient for companies that need the expertise of a third party to store and manage data efficiently. It is advantageous for companies that:
- Process large and complex data needs.
- Require advanced analytical capabilities.
- Lack internal resources or expertise for data management.
- Must comply with strict data regulations.
By doing business with a third party, companies have the opportunity to focus on their core business activities while having access to a robust data infrastructure.
To store POS data, some stores use a database installed on site. These databases can be in a server, physically stored where the store is operating, or in the same computer or the same tablet as the point of sale software.
Locally stored data is accessible and manageable only on a single computer or in a closed network. They have the advantage of not needing an internet connection to work. They are also powerful and simple to implement.
Stores notably use PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server or MySQL to store data locally.
This kind of database is becoming increasingly rare. Unlike cloud-based storage, local databases are not accessible across multiple devices. They do not allow data to be shared between multiple stores. Local databases are being phased out in favor of cloud storage, as the latter is more flexible and secure. Also, local databases are not practical for networks of several stores or companies with an online store.
Also, if there is a problem with the software or the database (e.g. a hack) or if a mistake is made, all data can be lost with no chance of recovery.
Why choose a cloud-based point of sale software? Click here to find out.
3. Hybrid Solution (Cloud and Local)
It is possible to combine local databases and the cloud to store all of a store’s POS data. In that case, POS data is stored in a local, on-site database. Other data, such as backups, reports or analytics, are stored in the cloud.
The hybrid solution offers additional protection against data loss caused by malfunctions or disasters (floods, for example). It’s the redundancy, the fact that the POS data is stored in the cloud and in a local database that provides additional protection.
To learn more about the lifespan of POS systems and innovations to watch out for, click here.
A con of the hybrid solution is that the merchant must manage a local infrastructure for storing their data. This generates additional costs that are not present with a fully cloud-based solution.
In addition, data stored locally is less secure than data in the cloud. The merchant can therefore lose data more easily. The safest solution then remains 100% cloud-based storage.
Ultimately, the location of POS software data is crucial to keeping it secure. The security of data collected by a point of sale software should be a priority for a retailer. It is by adopting security best practices and adapting to changes that retailers gain customer trust and better manage their store.