IoT and Big Data the new weapon of Kaptein Sabeltann
Dyreparken, inFuture and Forskningsrådet (The Research Council of Norway) cooperate on utilizing location data to create better customer experiences and support strategic decision making. That’s how you win awards.
How can an amusement park be more amusing? What if you got news tailored to your interests and where you are in the park? And what if the park could offer activities based on the audience’s actual behaviour?
These are topics of the ground-breaking INSITE project, supported by The Research Council of Norway’s BIA programme. In INSITE Dyreparken cooperates with CSI-partner inFuture AS, the beacon platform supplier fluxLoop AS, and a number of other project partners from the travel industry in southern Norway, including NSB, Color Line and USUS among others.
In brief, a large number of battery powered radio transmitters broadcasting over Bluetooth (“beacons”) have been placed all over Dyreparken and other project partners’ locations, whose signals are picked up by guest cell phones running the Dyreparken app – provided the user has given their consent to location based services.
Guests can – if they have given their consent – receive notifications on their cell phones of e.g. the feeding of the lions happening nearby in 10 minutes. Or if Kaptein Sabeltann is expected shortly in Abra Havn (an area in the amusement park). Many will also appreciate knowing that the restaurant nearby has got a special pizza deal today.
“The goal of Dyreparken is to offer our guests an even better experience. If we succeed they will come back, and recommend us to their friends. This project opens up possibilities both we and our guests previously could only dream of” says Dyreparken sales and data analyst Elisabeth Drange Tønnesen.
Customer insight through data analysis
Still, the possibilities “backstage” are even greater. When Dyreparken can analyse the movements and (anonymous) location data of all guests using the app, they get completely new and fact-based insights into how the guests actually use the park.
“Location data is uploaded to the cloud based Microsoft Azure platform, and through the analysis and visualization tool Power BI all decision makers can at any time access an updated analysis of the huge data set – presented through our easily interpreted data dashboard. Where do our guests go first, where are they later on, how much time do they spend in each area, and how does the weather affect us? With INSITE, we go from qualified guesswork to fact based insights,” says Tønnessen.
Cheaper and better information in real time
Dyreparken also gains access to more operative and strategic information through the project. As an example, guest surveys are now run continuously through the guest app instead of being distributed through mail long after the visit. This way, anonymous guest feedback can be analysed in light of actual guest behaviour, yielding new insights into the effect of various park offerings on guest satisfaction and re-visit intention.
Tønnesen says this yields clear advantages:
“For one, it is much more cost effective. But more importantly, we can use the guest feedback throughout the season, to tailor and improve our offers and attractions. Both on a strategic and an operational level we now have live access to information which can enhance the guest experience further.”
Gulltaggen award winner
CSI-partner and INSITE project leader inFuture has been an important partner for Dyreparken. It is a partnership which has been noticed: inFuture won the 2017 Gulltaggen award for “Best use of data” for INSITE, together with Dyreparken and fluxLoop.
With the INSITE project, Dyreparken also won «the Oscars of the travel industry» - The HSMAI-awards – in both the “Innovative product developer of the year” and the “Digital customer journey of the year” categories for 2017.
“The Gulltaggen award is an incredible recognition for a project many companies can learn from. But we would probably not have been in contention for the award, if it wasn’t for the ability of the Azure platform and applications like Azure Machine Learning Studio and PowerBI to open up new fields of data exploration, which were previously only available to a selected few. This is IoT and Big Data put to good practical use” says project leader and inFuture partner Erik Svensrud.
The broader picture
In a broader context, INSITE is fundamentally about data driven decision processes on all levels – from day-to-day resource allocation on an operational level to data-driven service innovation and long-term investment decisions on a strategic level. Project partners already use the project’s analysis of rich user and location data to enable more fact-based decisions, as a valuable supplement to their deep industry experience.