Square intros Analytics to 'level the playing field' for SMBs

The free set of analytical tools show business performance metrics in real time.

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While analytics tools are the norm for most enterprise level companies, small businesses on a tight budget are unlikely to house any high-level capabilities that offer genuine company insights.

At least that's Square's theory.

Which is why the payments player said it is leveling the playing field with the launch of Square Analytics, a set of reporting and analytical tools that show business performance metrics in real time, such as best selling products, most profitable hours, and top selling salespeople.

The Analytics tools tie into Square's suite of Register products, which the company has been building out with new services that go far beyond payment acceptance. Its Register lineup now includes Pickup , Invoices and Appointments – services that, when combined, can help sellers paint a more accurate picture of their customers and the health of their business.

And for those business owners who would rather not stare at an analytics dashboard to the point of obsession, Square Analytics can also send data summaries to a user's email address, where data is turned into spreadsheets for easier, later reference. There's also integration with accounting services like QuickBooks and Xero, allowing users to view their sales data in the same place they track their business finances.

It's clear that Square’s mission to diversify its product portfolio with free, useful services is a bid to both keep customers using its platform and to remain competitive in the increasingly crowded mobile payments space. What's still unclear, however, is whether or not that mission will pay off.