Both users and stores would benefit from better visualization of data by Yelp

Categories Concept

Wouldn’t it be nice if Yelp allowed both its users and stores to use the data they collect. I’ve always wanted to see how a restaurant is trending over time. Were they always 4 stars, or did they used to be 4.5? Is this a shitty restaurant that just got a lot of good reviews in the beginning because of some promo they did? Are customers still coming to this shop (based on volume of reviews) or has business slowed for them.

Yelp has all of this data, and I don’t understand why they don’t let their users and customers (stores) use it. I would LOVE this functionality, from both sides.

I did think it would be nice to build a 3rd party app, but after reading up on Yelp’s TOS and how they restrict access, looks like the app would be shutdown by Yelp in short order. Heck, they may even request I take this down. (I pulled all this data by hand)

To give a few examples of data visualizations that would be helpful, I pulled data from Bacon Bacon in San Francisco. *Mine aren’t as pretty as Yelp would make them.

bacon-bacon-all-time-rating-over-time

First thing I notice is that they started off a lot stronger than where they’re currently sitting. They took a break from their trucks to open a store (flat line from July 2013 to March 2014) and the store is just not as popular as the truck.

bacon-bacon-rating-overtime-2-years

If we look closer over the last two years, they were redeeming themselves in early 2015 but let it slip as soon as kids went back to school in August, and really suffered just before Thanksgiving.

bacon-bacon-average-rating-by-month

It’s obvious to see their worst month was April 2014, but something interesting is that a few months ago, July 2016, they had their 2nd worst month ever.

bacon-bacon-total-reviews-by-month

As you can see here, April 2014 only had 3 reviews, and July 2016 had 9. The owner should be overly concerned about July’s performance. There is an issue they need to look into currently (Reviews mention poor food and service). The combination leads me to believe the staff isn’t as motivated to do a good job as they once were.

bacon-bacon-total-reviews-by-day-of-week

This last visualization isn’t too surprising. I would guess that reviews tend to lag behind actual visits by a day or two, so the spike in Sunday reviews are probably from Saturday visits.

Please Yelp, prove you’re not the greedy, money grabbing company everything thinks you are. Let the users use the data you have to form a better experience.


Also published on Medium.

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