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More systems, more data: How smart clubs turn IT headaches into wins

Blog: Professional advantage - BPM blog

Mark is Operations Manager at one of New South Wales’ busiest registered clubs. Like many in the industry, he cut his teeth clearing gaming machines, pouring drinks and signing up new members.

It’s been a few years since Mark started working out the back. But he still hasn’t forgotten what he learned on the club floor.

He knows which members are most likely to turn up for Wednesday night trivia. He knows bad weather affects sales. And he’s learned the hard way to order extra chicken schnitzels for grand final day.

Mark has decades of experience that guide his decision making but he has found this increasingly has limitations. For example, he can no longer rely on gut feel to:

This would be fine if club data could fill in the gaps. In Mark’s case, it can’t. With disparate point of sale, membership and gaming systems, his reporting and analysis capabilities are limited.

Mark wants to find a cost effective way to interpret and analyse data, though he’s not sure it’s possible. Many of his club’s systems are highly customised, and he doesn’t want to rip out perfectly good software in the process.

What Mark doesn’t know is that some of his biggest IT headaches are easy to solve without replacing existing systems. Here are two examples.


1. Gaming machine errors

Gaming machines generally capture information at 15-minute intervals. If a machine crashes or is reset between intervals, it can cause a spike in readings.

If you’ve ever worked in the gaming section of a club, you’ll understand why this is frustrating. It leads to incorrect reporting and club managers must spend time manually locating the erroneous entries.

We’ve helped clubs get more accurate reports by identifying the maximum amount of times a member can play a gaming machine in 15 minutes. For most machines, that’s around 2,400 strokes in 15 minutes. So we know that if the report says 2,500 strokes, or 3,500 in a single period, it’s likely to be an error.

This saves manual work and ensures clubs work with accurate data at all times.


2. Making sense of information from multiple systems

When a member visits a club, they will scan their card at the front desk. After that, they might buy a drink, play the poker machines and order dinner.

Most clubs can’t follow that customer through different parts of the club. The membership, point of sale, gaming and food & beverage systems collect data individually, but they don’t give the full story.

This makes it difficult to identify member trends and behaviour. Without looking at the data, it’s difficult to determine what club promotions affected what members spent in the club. Does a lunch special make people more likely to visit? Which events drive the biggest food and beverage sales?

A lack of data insights means most clubs make decisions based on what they think is a good idea, not hard facts. They can’t bring information from multiple systems together to drive revenue, reduce costs or increase member retention.

You don’t need to replace existing systems, or reconfigure highly customised software to get more value from your data.

Many of our club clients use a business intelligence solution that sits as a layer above all of their systems. The solution collects, analyses, compares and reports on data to give you the information you need to grow your club.


To find out more about business intelligence and clubs, call Professional Advantage on 1800 126 499 today.

You can read more about Professional Advantage and ClubIntel here.

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