Insight: How data can give a full view of the customer

Insight: How data can give a full view of the customer

Friday, December 18, 2015 Totally Gaming
Christopher Conroy will discuss Rank's data science progress at ICE 2016

Gaming has come a long way from ping pong on a black and white screen to today’s 3D spectaculars, from a cross on a pools coupon to a HTML5 slot on an iPad.

Developers have always pushed for purer colour, more effects and greater definition as they look to bring their games to life, but have they truly looked at their customers in such detail, have they considered them pixel by pixel?

Rank Group, which owns Grosvenor Casinos and Mecca Bingo, is one company that believes it could have done better in taking a close look at its players, and is currently in the process of building a data science team that will improve collection, storage and usage of all kinds of customer information. 

Christopher Conroy, Rank’s head of customer data science, is in charge of the project, and he told TotallyGaming.com that he believes there are great benefits to be realised through improved systems.

“It’s a relatively new area for us,” Conroy said. “Similar to many other companies, we have been through a revolution.

“Until recently we had separate business intelligence (BI) teams for each brand – Grosvenor and Mecca – but we identified that we were missing a lot of opportunities in regards to the large volume of data we had. That realisation stimulated a structural change by which we brought it into a central data science function, backing that up by recruitment of new personnel with significantly different skills than we had previously.”

Conroy will reveal the full story behind Rank’s ongoing data science project session in a entitled ‘Return on investment; how do we quantify the benefits of investing in data capture and analytics?’ at this year’s ICE TotallyGaming Data Insight and Business Intelligence conference.

Conroy will explain the process by which his team identified defects in existing systems and how they are being rectified, and is also to look closely at how tangible benefits can be quantified.

“The massive benefit of these changes will be a more holistic understanding of our customer," he said. “With the BI approach we had a very narrow view of the customer, purely based on transactional, rather than behavioural, data.

“Previously, transactional information was separate from things like agent chat, bingo chatrooms, social data and clickstream data.

"We are now building a much more integrated view of customer journey, from when they began their life online to acquisition journey to behaviour on the website, and we are building up an understanding from there.”

While Conroy is pleased with the progress being made at Rank, and has found that stakeholders at the company have been positive about the changes, he is keen to stress that attendees at his ICE session will be hearing about a work in progress rather a finished masterpiece. 

“We are at the outset of our journey in this field,” he said. “We are not past masters at it. I want to give attendees the opportunity to get an insight into an organisation that is going through this change process towards data science.

“They will hear about how we coped and are coping with the standard pitfalls, especially in terms of investment and payback, and some of the real world challenges that exist.”

* ICE takes place at London's ExCel Centre from February 2-4. For updates on ICE 2016 and to register for tickets, visit: www.icetotallygaming.com

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