Tech Ed 2012: EB Games reaches high scores with data mining

Australia and New Zealand gaming retailer outlines how it is winning repeat business through analysis of customer data

In order to plan its sales forecasts, EB Games Australia and New Zealand has built a SQL Server data warehouse to analyse the data it has been collecting through its loyalty program.

Speaking at Tech Ed 2012, EB Games A/NZ application development manager, Kevin Clarke, told delegates that the retailer has data on approximately 1.1 million customers through e-commerce sales, game pre-sales, as well as the loyalty program.

“Market analysis is the bread and butter of a loyalty system so the loyalty program was a directive set down by Game Stop who owns EB Games to roll out a loyalty program across the 17 countries it operates in,” Clarke said.

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“The customer characteristics are something we were looking at with the loyalty program such as past purchasing patterns which enables direct marketing to customers.”

Clarke added that data mining would help the retailer with game sales forecasting, particularly in a tight retail market.

“We’ve stabilised in terms of our market saturation in Australia so year on year sales analysis will allow us to predict more realistic shopping trends which will allow us to drive KPIs for each store,” he said.

Turning to data mining lessons, he said developers and IT managers needed to give quality data back to the business.

“You don’t want to go to the business with data that doesn’t provide any insights because it doesn’t make you very popular,” he said.

EB Games A/NZ avoided this by delivering a proof of concept to the business before getting its development team to create a enterprise scale analysis tool through Microsoft’s Visual Studio software.

Hamish Barwick travelled to Tech Ed 2012 on the Gold Coast as a guest of Microsoft Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia

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