ICE Vox: Harnessing data science in 2017 and beyond

ICE Vox: Harnessing data science in 2017 and beyond

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Tom Light, VP of Business Development at SBTech, opened the session by asking how can we use data to maximise returns? As data seeps into every orifice of marketing and sales, it’s increasingly becoming pivotal in targeted customer acquisition.

Light explained to attendees at the ICE Vox session how they use a team of over 200 in-play traders to make decisions and assess each situation in immense detail. Light also notes that they can use the same algorithm to determine the high volume bettors as they can problem gamblers. It’s easier he said in sports betting than in casino. This is because of the variety of options in sports betting.

Light moved onto explaining predictive analytics. This is how they look at the odds compared with the closing odds. For example if someone places a wager on a bet which later becomes more probable, then even if the bet lost, they will go onto win money.

The talk moved on to the discussion of trading teams and their evolution. Part of the question was whether trading teams will ever become redundant due to this evermore effective technology? Light said that he believes at SBTech they’re probably the most automated sports book solution out there, but he noted that there is undeniably still a need for a human trading team. He said it’s a business value, he said: “If a trader costs me X and increases the margin by Y, and Y is more than X then it’s a no brainer.”

Kris Mobayeni, Senior Director of Conversion Strategy at New York City firm BounceX, which recently opened a London office, discussed behavioural marketing. Over 75% of the company’s staff is in product performance; it’s a platform which observes real time visitor behaviours on a website and understanding who that visitor is.

The company has worked with the likes of Betfair and FanDuel, it sees trends across sites and industries which Mobayeni stated gives BounceX an upper hand. He went on to note how the cost of adwords, cost per click and cost per conversion in general have greatly increased and that with the highly competitive nature of the gaming industry the associated keywords have risen in cost dramatically.    

Mobayeni also talked about the issues with customers accessing sites across devices. The vast majority now access the internet via at least two devices and probably three. He explained how cookies have become “an ineffective relic of a single channel, single session world”. We’re now more connected than ever. Sometimes we use different browsers, and this combination of devices and browsers means that one person may look like a brand new user on a site when in fact they’re a returning visitor. Mobayeni stated that “email has become the universal identifier”. Savvier marketers have begun picking this up but many still fail to realise the extent of the opportunity. It’s become more than just sending a message to somebody’s inbox. It allows device graphing too to tie multiple devices to one user.

Mobayeni went on to say one point that he can’t stress enough: continuity of messaging and experiences. He said that this “can increase conversions of upwards of 20% for that segment”. He stated that at BounceX they’ve seen this time and again with even the simplest executions.

Totally Gaming says: Advancements in data science and how we can utilise it is changing numerous industries everyday. Sports betting is no different, in fact it’s probably ideally placed to be affected by data science as SBTech and this session confirmed.

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