It’s not more than 2 months since I last went to Las Vegas last (Information On Demand 2011 by IBM, over 9000 attendees and 600 technical education sessions with the official release of Cognos 10) and here I was there again last week. This time I was there for Microstrategy World which was held at Wynn, one of the newest casino hotel in town.
Unlike IBM or other big vendors like Oracle and Microsoft with stack of products, Microstrategy is a Pure BI company and it was impressive that they could pull up a crowd of around 1800. I really enjoyed their technical sessions, customer presentations and keynotes. Not only that, I was again successful in keeping myself away from pouring down money down the slot machines or at the Roulette table. I wonder if Microstrategy extended an invitation to Wynn casino at the conference and presented them what all they can do using their BI tool to keep customers with in the casino.
Intelligent Businesses and Business intelligence is everywhere in that city. Excalibur, where I stayed last time when I went for IOD, has no wonder just one moving walkway that will save you one-quarter mile of a walk !! into the casino but going out: ‘do you really walk all the way out, while you can stay in trying luck on these slot machines’. Well that was the case at Excalibur but to my surprise many others that had two walkways or escalators had just the one going in working and I am surprise if it a coincidence that most of them were now working both in Nov 2010 and Jan 2011 or it is another intelligent business.
Speaking of Business intelligence, most of these casinos are advertising big, right outside to sign up for rewards card, which works very similar to a debit card where you can put money into the account and use that card instead of cash at slot machines, and get anything between 20-200$ depending on casinos for free to play in there. What we do not realize is that these reward cards are not just money holder but a data generator, where casinos can track you in real-time, how much you won or lost, how often you come there, what games do you play and what is your lost threshold before you leave. And may be they can use it in real-time to lets say send you a complementary drink or a buffet coupon if you are losing beyond your calculated threshold and might lose interest.
An interesting book that we often give out to our customers is Competing on Analytics by Thomas Davenport with a foreword by Gary Loveman, CEO of Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. You can find a lot of examples in there on how business are using numbers to make even a simple decision.