In-Store Video Business Intelligence for Casinos/Resorts
by Al Cordoba
Originally published September 1, 2009
An advanced in-store video business intelligence and decision support system can help a casino/resort retail operations in a myriad of ways, including capturing actionable in-store data, providing an
open, flexible and future-proof system. They can also provide detailed customer behavior analysis at a fraction of the cost of in-store observation studies. These solutions can provide a significant
return on technology investment.
The ProblemToday, the overwhelming majority of casino/resort store retailers have no ability to systematically analyze video data that is integrated with in-store data beyond point-of-sale (POS) transactions. Some additional data can be available through consulting projects while other data can only be seen in observation studies. This latter option is expensive and provides only a snapshot in time. Unfortunately, the inferences from the observation studies also cannot consistently be rolled out on a large scale. Therefore, the objective of gathering and integrating customer video data to generate a complete casino resort intelligent view of patron behavior requires a systematic technology approach.
Some Technology ApproachesOne approach is to use a traffic management/people counting solution. These solutions focus on the collection of traffic data at external entrances only. They are mostly closed solutions that require installation of dedicated cameras/counting devices. They are not optimized for correlation of multiple data sources and lack video integration. They have limited real-time applications and virtually no vertical applications focused on the specific casino/resort retail business problems.
A second approach could be to use video analytics from companies focused on security. These security solutions are not optimized for a casino/resort retail environment and are typically very expensive to set up and maintain. They are designed as closed systems competing based on accuracy of algorithms. Personally, we have not found any casino/resort security video applications optimized for business intelligence and decision support of any kind.
A third option could be from companies that may focus on casino/resort retail business data and add video data. Unfortunately, these companies don’t have a comprehensive data collection and analysis framework for video data. They have limited integration with other business systems and provide no remote visual analysis framework.
A SolutionAnother possibility is to use mature video analytics vendors. They typically provide two components: an in-store appliance and a regional/corporate appliance. The in-store component includes: (1) video analysis and recording, (2) high-scale data acquisition, (3) real-time data correlation and automatic actions, and (4) integration with in-store systems. The second component could be a regional/corporate appliance. This appliance includes: (1) high-scale data aggregation and long-term storage (longer than 12 months), (2) sophisticated reporting, and (3) automatic data analytics including data mining.
These mature video analytics vendors have products designed to leverage existing in-store infrastructure. These products integrate existing analog and IP cameras and DVRs, and they integrate POS, EAS and other in-store applications. These vendors have an open approach to video analytics. They provide a best-in-class analytics integrated into the system complete with integrated services. They support edge analytics. They provide the ability to integrate any external video analytics compliant with industry standards (ARTS Analytics Standard).
The mature video analytics products are optimized to work within existing in-store IT infrastructure. They create little or no impact on existing casino/resort retail systems performance. These systems have a simple functional architecture that provides the ability to collect, aggregate, analyze and visualize casino/resort retail data. These systems provide the integration of data coming from video cameras (video and audio), POS systems, business systems and security applications. They take both unstructured and transactional data and integrate the data into an intelligent collection mart complete with a web services API (analytical framework).
These mature video companies leverage their technology across different casino/resort departments. For instance, monitor surveillance cameras track trends between casino stores, provide timeline views and graphs, show interactive casino/resort retail store maps, conduct POS detail searches and provide in-depth analysis on casino/resort retail stores.
10 Benefits of Video Analytics
The Power of In-Store Visual Business IntelligenceIn-store visual business intelligence allows casino/resort management to consistently and accurately track the following:
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