Betting on Wi-Fi: Analytics

By sv_neal posted Apr 12, 2018 08:58 AM


One of the ways that casino hotels can improve and adjust their guest experience is through leveraging wireless analytics. These analytics help them to better understand consumer and employee behavior. Determining where people spend most of their time, how they use a space, peak times of business, and other useful information all feed into creating the right experience for everyone.


Presence analytics provides a business with insights as to whether or not a visitor is new to the venue. It can also say how often they visit the venue, how long they stay at the venue, or even if they passed by without entering the venue. These values are typically relevant to the customer base as the data provided is not otherwise known by the venue. A casino can typically divide the area into retail, gaming, dining, and recreation to further determine what a guest is doing on the property. Some analytics platforms also allow for the monitoring of traffic flow from one zone to another. This allows for an organization to understand where people go after a show lets out or the pool closes, for example. Tuning of the wireless network for optimal presence analytics is important. Access point choice and layout is critical to the success of these analytics as they use a triangulation process that benefits from three to four APs in a given area to provide decent location capabilities of up to 10m accuracy.  Pure presence analytics can be done with a single AP.


Proximity analytics is a newer addition to the analytics space and is beginning to be combined with presence analytics to allow for a more holistic view of the space. Proximity analytics leverages Bluetooth rather than Wi-Fi to allow for highly accurate, fast updating data points, with minimal fluctuations. These analytics are being used to enable location-based services such as asset tracking and management. Incorporating proximity analytics into the overall awareness of the network requires a mobile app and software development kit (SDK) but can offer rich information for the hotel casino. Decisions can be made through proximity to a single beacon using ranging technologies or through trilateration which would determine range from three beacons.


Mobile apps allow for some unique abilities that can extend past the four walls of a casino, which is why having a relevant mobile app is important. Geofencing enables location tracking outside of the casino property and could cover other assets such as golf courses, pools, and entertainment venues. Geoconquesting is the ability to identify a guest going to a competing property and trying to subvert that decision. In most cases, directly interacting with a user who is going to a competitor’s site frowned upon, however indirect methods such as loyalty programs or rewards targeted at increasing length of stay or frequency of attendance is acceptable. Mobile apps are increasingly being provided to internal hotel workers to allow them to better identify when rooms are available, ready for cleaning, or need room service. These technologies can allow for measurement of response time, time spent cleaning a room to provide feedback to those scheduling the time of the staff.


Leveraging all of this data, casinos are able to better plan the layouts of the gaming floor and measure any changes to traffic patterns as a result of those changes. New games, slots with large giveaways, and other engagement ideas often attract more people so positioning them properly is key. Additionally, casinos can better understand what they should be charging retail tenants for store front space due to the amount of foot traffic that goes by. Additional metrics are the impact of raising or lower the table minimums at the casino throughout the evening. Higher minimums generally mean fewer players overall, so there is a sweet spot for best ROI that could potentially be determined in part by leveraging some player analytics. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth analytics become yet another data point in a data driven ecosystem in which the casino knows quite a bit about their consumer base.


Building the solution described above can be done with Aruba’s Mobile First network architecture integrated with Aruba’s Location Engine and third-party analytics providers and tying in a beacon infrastructure with Aruba Meridian. AppMaker may provide for a quality testing app and in some cases may be enough for certain customers. Custom application development can cost quite a bit more, however the increased ability to integrate SDKs and other features and increased flexibility may be worth it overall to some organizations.