How Does the Gaming Industry Utilise Data Analytics?
It’s tough to think of anything which has impacted our lives more in the 21st Century than data analytics. From keeping us scrolling Instagram for an extra few minutes to influencing how we vote, it has become all pervasive.
Big Data, as it is often known, has allowed businesses and organisations more insight into human behaviours than ever before. This can be harnessed to understand, predict, and, importantly, influence the actions people take in a huge variety of ways.
Whether it be retail, banking or politics, big data can be used to aid success in any industry. Some data analytics applications have caused a great deal of controversy while others are much more accepted, even useful.
What is Big Data and data analytics?
Simply put, Big Data and data analytics is the collection analysis of information to inform statistics and decisions. Humans have used it since the dawn of mathematics, and even before, but modern computing has expanded its power exponentially.
Using advanced algorithms, AI, and processing power, billions of data points can now be tracked and analysed in real-time. Every moment we’re online our movements are collected; what we click, how quickly we do it, how long we linger.
Instagram knows what pictures we spend most of our time looking at and shows us more it thinks are similar. Google curates a shopping profile from our activities and personalises the adverts we see accordingly.
This is not new. Marketers have always tracked returns from each ad and promotion, while restaurants have noted which menu items sell, and when.
What is new, is the scale of data collection and level of detail which can be extrapolated and focused on.
Fifty years ago, a cafe may have learned soup sold well in the afternoon on cold days. Today, we know who bought each bowl, where they work, their age, income, and the last song they listened to.
How does this apply to online casinos?
On paper, there aren’t many industries that suit data analytics more than online casinos. After all, when you break it down, from the card tables to the slots to the pay-outs, it’s all statistics.
Year on year, online casinos are becoming more popular and are experiencing seemingly unstoppable growth. There are many reasons for this, but data analytics are absolutely integral to the sector’s continuing success.
Big Data use hasn’t started with online gaming, gambling was amongst the first industries to apply mass-scale data analytics. Sports betting has always used huge scale data collection to set odds for maximum returns, as have in-person casinos.
It hasn’t always been on the side of the house either, players learned to use data as early as 1962. Edward O. Thorp’s book “Beat the Dealer” introduced card counting, a practical use of simple data analytics to improve odds.
Today’s data analytics in online gaming, however, are at a totally different level. So, what are the main ways in which the gaming industry and its players are applying these new techniques?
The most common way that any industry uses Big Data is to inform its marketing choices. As an internet-based registration service, online casino is perfectly positioned to take maximum advantage of this.
From the registration form which captures personal information, everything an online gaming user does is tracked in full detail. Through this, suppliers learn which marketing each individual and demographic responds to the most, and in what way.
Knowing which offers work on which days at what times with which people allows a company to target more efficiently. If Jane Bloggs occasionally plays during her 2 pm break, then send her an offer at 1:45 pm.
Data analytics takes the guesswork out of marketing and helps providers gain maximum impact using minimum resources. This process is constantly fine-tuning itself in real-time so, in theory, its efficiency will only continue to improve.
If marketing encourages people to log in and play to begin with, gameplay keeps them there and brings them back. Using data analytics allows providers to monitor each user’s engagement with any particular game in minute detail.
Online casinos will compile usage data of each existing game and measure how it changes with every small gameplay tweak. As with natural evolution, what works is kept and enhanced, what has a negative impact is discarded.
This application of Big Data offers improvements for both the user and the provider. A user enjoys constantly improved gameplay for their specific preferences, a provider is rewarded with a more loyal user.
This element comes in two forms, security for the player and protection for the online casino against fraud. By using data and AI to track patterns of behaviour, malicious activity can be picked up, and proven, extremely efficiently.
This protects the players from anyone who might be looking for access to their data or financial information. It also protects the providers from any players who may be using outlawed techniques or software to gain unfair advantages.
Competition and Player Power
These two elements sit hand in hand when it comes to the benefits of using data analytics for online games. Online casinos are able to not only track the data from their own sites, but to buy data relating to their competitors.
This allows each brand to get a greater understanding of their rivals and the market in general to inform business decisions. It also gives players the power to, quite literally, dictate the evolution of the industry by voting with their behaviour.
More to Come
These are just some ways the online casino industry is using Big Data to increase its incredible growth. Beneath the surface, the reach and applications of data analytics is strengthening every day.
So, next time you log on to enjoy your favourite game, perhaps take a moment to think. What data are you handing to the operator as you play, and how might you use it to your advantage?