Big data could be considered a misnomer. “Big” understates the massive amount of data that businesses collect from their customers. Everything from transactional information to social media is collected, resulting in billions of data points amassed each day. Within this unstructured data are patterns of what customers are doing. Understanding these patterns allows companies to make informed, data-driven business decisions. To discover these patterns, companies need business intelligence (BI) services.
Scientific Games has recognized this need for the lottery industry and is gaining momentum with their enterprise business intelligence platform, called Infuse. Infuse combines player data with game data, retailer data, equipment data and logistical data to offer lotteries meaningful insights that can be infused throughout their business for greater success.
“It’s really about enabling various audiences within an organization to use data to make better decisions,” explained Cameron Garrett, Scientific Games’ VP of Analytics & Insights at a NASPL 2018 demonstration. “How can Scientific Games enable lotteries to have the most information to help strategically drive player needs?”
Lotteries using Infuse will be able to discover macro level trends and key performance indicators (KPI) across the industry. Scientific Games’ central gaming system integrates data with Infuse, giving a tremendous amount of sales data on both draw and instant games. It is also connected to the company’s lottery loyalty programs.
“Loyalty programs provide amazing pieces of data because they tie data to an actual player,” Garrett explained. “You can effectively engage in marketing based on how consumers are actually interacting with those programs. We know demographics. We can tie it back to consumer segments. We can survey them. It just opens up a whole world of possibilities.”
Those possibilities are already revealing interesting patterns across all areas of a lottery’s organization.
“The user interface of Infuse is not just be something that sits statically, instead it actively helps drive development. Depending on the particular lottery, and what role you have at the lottery, you might be even be looking at two completely different reports. It goes back to the idea of audiences. Who are the audiences within an organization? The lottery sales representative is going to be looking at something different than the lottery marketing professional,” he said.
SCiQ®—Scientific Games’ intelligent retail ecosystem—might be one of the most exciting integrations with Infuse. For instance, data from SCiQ can quantify the cost of an empty instant ticket bin in a retailer. Because each bin is monitored and measured, the system will know if the bin hasn’t been replaced within 30 minutes. Infuse then shows in an easily digestible report how much a retailer is losing each minute, among many other things. This gives irrefutable evidence to sales reps that the longer that bin is not replaced with new games, the more money that retailer is losing.
“So for every single place where we have SCiQ, all of this data is out there. We can analyze it and we can then start figuring out the best way to plug this in with our other products and services. With SCiQ we finally have ‘real’ sales data. Prior to this, the industry was estimating sales based on validations,” said Garrett.
Infuse and SCiQ also provide fascinating marketing research results. In one example of using Infuse, Garrett’s team discovered that 50% of one retail business consisted of players purchasing a single ticket. But those players only represented 28% of the store’s sales. This revelation gives lottery executives and their retailers a reason to create a business strategy to increase the average value of those single ticket purchasers. Infuse can also look at product level data. For instance, 10x the Cash has often been purchased in conjunction with 5x the Cash. Combining this report with the problem discussed above creates a potentially viable solution.
“It shows that the families of games are working. They are being bought together. If you didn’t have that family, the player probably would have just walked out the door and only had that single transaction. This is where it gets really interesting for a marketer or an ad agency. We want to tie those reports together and get them looking at this. It validates families, but it could also validate other strategies like ‘buy one, get one free’ or some other promotion. Now you can see not just the success of the promotion but the effect,” Garrett said.
Infuse also helps promote experimentation within the lottery organization. By showcasing both sales and gross gaming revenue, it will be easier for lotteries to immediately see if a new promotion is increasing profit to good causes or just generating higher sales. A lottery could theoretically test a slight reduction in the prize payout as a percentage of sales of one of its products.
“Experiment by dropping one percentage point on higher tickets. You might find that it’s actually a good thing. Change a couple of games and see what happens. You never know unless you try,” Garrett said.
The introduction of Infuse gives lotteries a great understanding of the nuances of their products, retailers and customers. “It’s very new, very exciting. This service will help lotteries make decisions that will drive value to beneficiaries,” Garrett emphasized.