Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) has launched Business Insights, an online tool that uses aggregated data from merchant electronic funds transfer at point of sale (EFTPOS) transactions to illustrate sector or local sales patterns, market share, turnover and provide insights into customer behaviour.

ANZ Business Insights has been launched as a pilot for ANZ small businesses customers in Victoria, with a national roll-out planned in the coming months.

Registered users can view comparative benchmark data for similar businesses in their local area across common industry categories including food, clothing, consumer goods, travel and hairdressing. The information can be used to help plan for staffing, analyse changes in sales and market share and understand local industry business trends.

The other initiatives to help support small business include: employing 130 additional small business specialists; online education materials such as start-up business courses, tools to help build the skills and knowledge of business owners, webinars on key topics such as marketing and cash flow planning, and business templates available through ‘The ANZ Small Business Hub’, a free business planning CD.

Nick Reade, general manager for small business at ANZ, said: “Getting meaningful local data is a challenge for small business owners. Short of sitting in a competitor’s shop and watching passing trade there are limited resources small businesses can use to benchmark performance. We expect ANZ Business Insights will be an invaluable tool for ANZ small business customers.

“The tool takes a lot of guesswork out of business planning and helps small businesses save time and resources usually spent on local market research. This is information money can’t buy and best of all, it’s free.”