Data analytics takes out the guesswork and gives you insights based on hard data.
When you’ve got a limited budget and finite space on the casino floor, optimizing your game machine inventory is the fastest way to get higher returns. Having the right titles with the right configurations in the right locations will boost revenue, build customer loyalty, and become a real competitive advantage.
But how do you figure out what “right” is? Knowing how your machines are performing and understanding why are very different things. A lot of casinos use trial and error or mental models to figure it out. But that’s time-consuming, costly and inefficient, and it doesn’t necessarily address the “why.”
That’s where analytics comes in – it takes out the guesswork and gives you insights based on hard data.
“A recent trend is bigger screens and more interactive components,” says Benoit Lapolice, Product Manager at Bluberi. “You’d assume those things would make play more exciting. But how do we know for sure? With analytics, the numbers tell the whole story – and we can base decisions on empirical evidence instead of just observations and help us and our customers to generate more revenue.”
Here’s how one slot machine manufacturer turned their data into actionable insights – and is helping their casino clients up their profitability game.
Bluberi is a 20-year-old company that designs, develops and commercializes casino slot games and game themes. They want to offer their casino clients high revenue-generating games, but to do so, they don’t just need to know what titles are performing well – they also need insight into factors influencing that performance, like game configuration settings, titles and placement on the casino floor.
But Bluberi faced a number of challenges to actually getting those insights:
No centralized view of the data
Slot machine game data is stored in each machine in each of their customer locations, with other relevant data in disparate systems across the company. Bluberi had no central repository and system-of-record of customer gaming data to support analysis.
Reporting and data analysis were manual and time-consuming – Bluberi couldn’t easily access data, generate reports or perform ad hoc analysis (slicing-and-dicing, visualizing) in a self-service manner.
Lack of data governance
Without access to systematically stored and generated reporting, Bluberi couldn’t ensure report content (e.g. KPIs, etc.) would be consistent or accurate.
No existing dedicated infrastructure for analytics
Bluberi had no servers, software, etc. to specifically support their reporting and analytics needs.
Automate, integrate and empower
Game performance isn’t just based on how fun it is to play – location is also vital. What section of the casino it’s in, how traffic flows pass it, the games and tables that are near it, its location within a game bank – they all factor into how much revenue it pulls in. For example, end games generally perform better within a bank, just like end caps at a retail store. Understanding the connection between placement and performance is key to understanding a title’s potential for success.
Bluberi wanted to give product managers insight into how games perform based on casino location and bank placement (e.g. are specific games doing better in smoking or non-smoking sections?) and help them understand which titles are over- or under-performing against theoretical game and casino site averages.
By bringing in aggregated game performance data from each of their customers’ sites (e.g. average coin-in per unit per day) Bluberi sees how their titles perform compared to all other game manufacturers. For example, they can gain insight into which game titles are doing better than the casino’s average game performance, and they can look at it for the casino in totality or by section.
Gensquared implemented a complete hosted solution to support those needs. Automated processes now ingest, cleanse, integrate and rationalize the data across numerous data sources into a system-of-record designed for their reporting and analysis needs.
The new data repository comes with a robust web-based reporting tool that lets users run standard reports and do self-service data analysis on everything from game performance (wagering amounts, win amounts, casino win percentage, game play volume, etc.) and game configuration (bet multipliers, lines played, denominations played, etc.) to machine placement in a casino property and in a bank of machines. Powerful visualizations for analyzing and interpreting large volumes of data let users identify clusters and profiles of games that are most likely to perform well in different locations based on a casino’s player demographics.
The leading technology stack powering Gensquared’s Analytics Cloud for Bluberi
AWS infrastructure and services utilized for the Gensquared-implemented Analytics Cloud solution
- EC2: All application and database servers run on EC2 virtual server infrastructure.
- S3: The foundation for the Data Lake; initial storage for all native Bluberi source data files.
- Athena: Serves as the query interface to S3 for simplifying the ingestion of required data from the Data Lake for downstream ETL processes.
- CloudWatch: Operational monitoring of all Analytics Cloud infrastructure to ensure system availability and performance levels are maintained.
- CloudTrail: Detailed account activity logging across all Analytics Cloud infrastructure used for system auditing and governance.
- Simple Email Service: Leveraged for application event-of-interest email notifications (e.g., ETL process initiation, completion, failure).
- Glacier: Long-term archival of source data files that no longer need to be immediately accessible.
- Availability Zones: Multiple availability zones leveraged for disaster recovery protection.
- VPC: The entire AWS-driven Analytics Cloud infrastructure operates within a virtual private cloud.
Using data to build better games
Analytics helps Bluberi product managers understand how to design new games and improve existing ones.
“Insights derived from product performance data can be used in a variety of ways,” says Lapolice. “Our sales team can share them with casino clients, giving them data-driven evidence of performance and adding value with advice on optimized placement. But it also gives us what we need to develop better products.”
Helping casinos maximize success with Bluberi slots
Analytics helps Bluberi and their casino clients understand the relationship between machines and profitability. Bluberi’s sales team can support slot machine managers by helping them decide which titles and how many machines to buy, and where to put them to maximize returns. Ensuring the right mix helps casinos generate more revenue – and improves Bluberi’s bottom line.
Next up: Using data to target the right audience
Learn how an online gaming platform provider used analytics to help online gaming sites target the most receptive audience, establish player loyalty and grow market share. Read the article.