Moving to data-driven decision making across business offices and the arena floor
As the HEAT dug further into Microsoft solutions, Power BI became a standout resource. Nearly every department within the organization and the arena uses Power BI to access the metrics that are important to their operations with a 70 percent Power BI adoption across the organization.
When a game starts, decisions must be made quickly from locations across the venue to optimize foot traffic, boost sales of food, drinks, and merchandise, and give fans the best possible end-to-end entertainment experience—no one wants to spend game night standing in lines. “Because Power BI is mobile, we can push key metrics directly to employees’ phones,” explains Crevecoeur. “They can get real-time information about ticket sales and view dashboards about how many people are in the building, what they’re spending on concessions, and what entrances they’re using. We can make on-the-fly decisions to improve flow and reassign resources to manage ingress.”
According to Jafarian, the improvement has been significant. “With Power BI, we’ve moved way beyond spreadsheets,” he says. “We can immediately integrate information across lines of business—from arena activity to online retail and social engagement—and present that data across mobile devices, desktops, and tablets.” Adds Crevecoeur, “Data is always available, always current, and it serves as a single source of truth for everyone. That keeps everyone on the same page, at the same time, with the most important facts about our business priorities so we can make operational decisions that enhance the fan experience during a game or show.”
Centralizing data and providing a simple way to view it has already created financial benefits for the HEAT. The organization realized that it could shift hourly workers’ schedules by just 15 minutes in some cases to better match fan attendance patterns. This simple change resulted in approximately $1 million in savings, and there have been other benefits, too. The HEAT grew its online business by a factor of 10 and achieved a 20-times return on investment on social media platforms over two years by segmenting and re-targeting customers using its stored fan profiles.