Case Study: Managing Data Intelligence at Attractions
Over the past several years, in part because of the impact of the pandemic and remote work, companies across the globe began rapidly digitizing. However, the data collected through this process often remains siloed because of incompatibilities between systems. For example, at an attraction, data in the human resources office may not be integrated with the numbers from the finance department.
How can attractions make their data more palatable across departments? IAAPA News shares solutions discovered by a multi-operator while pulling their numbers together across departmental lines.
For Tomorrow Entertainment, a zip line, laser tag, and trampoline operator with locations in Asia, the technical solution was to adopt a management software that could unite its systems across multiple attractions. Visitors routinely provide all sorts of demographic information when buying tickets and signing waivers, but until recently, the company found little value in the numbers.
“We were collecting a lot of great information, but I'd never seen us use it,” reflects Tomorrow Entertainment General Manager David Lim. “The data was not in a form that was easily usable. It was hard to stack the information against each other.” Therefore, Lim says his company turned to one core system that connected its ticketing database to a CRM (customer relationship management) system. This allows the team to process zip line waivers to “string that information together and make a lot more sense of it,” Lim says.
Insights gained from the integrated system have helped Tomorrow Entertainment increase revenue by approximately 20% while also cutting the time required for financial reconciliation by two-thirds. Not only is analyzing data more straightforward, but Lim can also easily test a hypothesis. For example, what is the impact of changing a ticket price on the weekends?
“Since the end of the pandemic, we’ve actually brought up prices about five to six times. You'd be surprised how underpriced a lot of us are,” Lim notes. “[The new system] has given us the ability to be more nimble and to make decisions pretty quickly.”
While the financial gains are substantial, Lim says the greatest impact is increased staff engagement and empowerment. The companies’ front-line employees no longer have to toggle between screens, looking at one platform for waiver information and another for ticket sales, so the time to register and admit guests is faster.
“The team has gotten behind this organically. It’s not a top-down thing. You know that when your team is starting to ask specific questions, they are on the right track. They have a sense of ownership and just went with it.”
Suggestions on How to Best Harness Data
1. Choose the right metrics. Have a goal and then work backwards. Before collecting a data point, ask: “Why it is important?” Then decide how the attraction will use the information.
2. Involve your team. When choosing a new technology, make sure the people who are going to use it drive the search for it.
3. Be on the ground. Data points + experience = insights.
4. Start small, test, then scale.
5. “Technology should be the enabler in your journey and not the starting point,” advises ZRG Adventures and Consulting Co-Founder and Managing Director Zishan Amir, who helped Tomorrow Entertainment develop its data strategy and implement the new system.
- David Lim spoke at an education session entitled How Data-Driven Tech Drives Business Growth & Deliver World-Class Experiences at IAAPA Expo Asia 2023. He was joined by Roller Account Executive Chris McBoyle and ZRG Adventures and Consulting Co-Founder and Managing Director Zishan Amir.