Bravo’s data is like no other. By the end of this article, you’ll know why big data analytics is essential and the difference between a database and a data warehouse. It may sound boring, but if leveraged, will increase your margins, profitability, and loan balance.

This isn’t anecdotal.

Every year, I watch hundreds of new customers soar on Bravo.  

What is Big Data Analytics?

Big data analytics examines large amounts of data to uncover hidden patterns, correlations, and other insights. It helps businesses harness information to identify new opportunities, make quick business decisions, and lean into more efficient operations.  

The challenge pawnbrokers and small businesses face is the expense to generate big data and the lack of velocity, veracity, and volume of data. Without these things, big data analytics is impossible.

This is why relying on your store’s data solely is problematic. The power comes from accumulating data from thousands of pawnshops in a variety of states taking in a plethora of merchandise.  

To understand how you can leverage big data analytics, you must understand how your data is being stored.  

How is Data Stored?

There are two ways that data is organized, and the organization of the data dictates what you are able to do with it.  

  1. Create a Database - A database is a collection of related data that represents some elements. It is designed to record data. It’s simple to use but limited in scope. It creates flat data that isn’t meant for analysis.
  2. Use a Data Warehouse - A data warehouse takes many databases and stores the historical and commutative data. It’s designed for analyzing, reporting, and integrating data from different sources. It also allows for forecasting. Data warehouses are complex and often underutilized for this reason.

Turning data into important insights isn’t easy. In today’s business environment, it’s critical that you don’t just have access to either a database or data warehouse.

You need both.

Bravo not only offers both types of reporting options, but two database analysts (DBAs) to help you navigate, build, understand, and analyze the data.

Bravo’s Data Warehouse

Bravo’s robust platform enables pawnbrokers with both a database and data warehouse. Users can slice and dice data in Ad Hoc reports, which are broken down by Customers, Inventory, Loans, eCommerce, Consignments, Inventory, and more. These reports can be saves, customized, and saved in 10 file formats including Excel and CSV.  

While Ad Hoc is powerful and can create actionable data, the best source for analytical data to increase your loan balance is Bravo’s Data Warehouse, specifically the Price Guide Report, the Customer Loyalty Report, the Customer Loyalty Platform, and the Employee Performance Report.

Price Guide Report

The Price Guide Report is originated in Bravo’s Data Warehouse based on global data. It exists for every manufacturer and model ever transacted in Bravo. The data is validated, scrubbed, and depreciated automatically using our proprietary logarithms based on category.

Most pawnbrokers subscribe to the philosophy, “We take in anything of value.”

But as a pawnbroker, how do you know you’re lending the max while protecting your margins?

How do you know your employees aren’t lending based on what they think they can sell it for?

The Price Guide Report guides you through key metrics like:

  • Number of this exact manufacture/model in inventory (storewide and company-wide, if you have multiple locations)
  • Number of this exact manufacture/model in loan (storewide and company-wide, if you have multiple locations)
  • Yearly Turnover
  • Average Loan Amount by Condition
  • Average Forfeiture Amount by Condition
  • Average Price Sold by Condition, Average Median Price Sold
  • The Best Channel for Distribution (including median, turnover rate, days to sell, margin)
  • The Suggested Channel for Distribution

Customer Loyalty Report

Most pawnbrokers evaluate both the item and the customer before making a loan. You are likely assessing your customer’s need, emotional attachment to the item, and the likelihood of them returning the item. You may also be paying attention to the total number of active loans this customer has at your store or their redemption rate.  

There is more to the puzzle than this customer’s simple loan metrics and equipped with more meaningful data, your employee may feel comfortable lending an additional five or ten bucks.

The Customer Loyalty Report also provides your employees critical data like:

  • Their Rank
  • How low this customer has been doing business with your store
  • The last time the customer was in your store
  • How often this customer does business with you (frequency)  
  • The customer’s police confiscation rate
  • The lifetime contribution including profit from buys and defaulted loans
  • The customer’s loan forfeiture and reactivation trend
  • The customer’s loan and sales revenue trend

Check out the article "3 Ways to Build Customer Loyalty at Your Loan Counter" to learn more tips on how to create customer loyalty.

Customer Loyalty Loan Bump

It’s no secret that customer loyalty programs generate more shoppers and influence customers’ choice of retailer. In the pawn business, it is imperative to expand the loyalty program to loan customers. Pawnbrokers are in the business of selling money after all.  

Bravo’s Customer Loyalty Loan Bump product creates loyalty with your brand and customers are likely to continue to do business with you if they feel valued. Truth be told, a loan bump customer loyalty program is not a short-term customer retention strategy, but will have a profound impact over the long haul.  

With 50% of customers saying they would change their behavior to attain a higher tier of the customer loyalty program, pawnbrokers should consider what a Loan Customer Loyalty Program might do for redemption rates and pawn service charges.  

Here is how it works:

  • Bravo uses a proprietary formula to rank your customers based on their Lifetime Value.
  • This includes the frequency this customer does business, their outstanding loan balance, and total profit from buys and defaulted loans.
  • Alternatively, you can opt to rank your customers solely on the forfeiture rate.  
  • You determine how much of a loan bump you’d like to give each star of customers, from half a star to five stars. The percentage bump can be positive or negative.
  • For example, you can choose to lend your 1-star customers –10% of the Estimator Suggested Loan Amount and your 5-star customers +15% of the Estimator Suggested Loan Amount.  
  • After adding your customer to a loan transaction, Bravo will use the star ranking plus your payout percentages to guide your employees to lend more.  

The beauty of automating a Customer Loyalty Loan Bump program is that you and your employees aren’t subjectively deciding which customers are the best customers. With Customer Loyalty Loan Bump, you can rest assured that your employees are qualifying customers and systematically lending more or less. This is a smart way to increase your loan balance while maintaining healthy margins. It also increases customer loyalty amongst your best customers.  


Equipped with a data warehouse and reports created by Pawn Database Analysts, pawnbrokers can maximize loans and protect margins. By leveraging the Price Guide Report, Customer Loyalty Report, and Customer Loyalty Loan Bump product, pawnbrokers will not only lend the most but provide a superior customer experience. This has proven to yield bigger loan balances, better customer retention, and increased customer service.

It is a win/win/win!

About the Author:

Photo of Tally Mack Bravo CEO
Tally Mack | CEO of Bravo Systems

Tally Mack is a fifth-generation pawnbroker and eCommerce enthusiast. She loves traveling, being outside, and working out.

Before taking the reins as CEO, Tally served as Bravo's Vice President of Business Development, leading the company's sales and marketing organization. She's been instrumental in leading and executing many of the company's strategic shifts, including the acquisition of CompuPawn and the recent launch of

Tally earned her Doctorate of Law (J.D.) from DePaul University College of Law in 2013 after attending the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she earned her B.A. in Communication Studies. She also completed the Key Executives Program from Harvard Business School in 2013.

Tally is a pawnshop lover and eCommerce enthusiast—dedicated to the success of both her employees and customers!