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Live from DAMA – The Business Drivers Behind Creating an Enterprise Data Architecture in the Gaming Industry


Terry from Pinnacle Entertainment (a gaming company) was up after lunch on The Business Drivers Behind Creating an Enterprise Data Architecture in the Gaming Industry. Pinnacle has 12 properties, none in Vegas, and competes with the likes of Harrah’s (used as a case study by Stephen Brobst yesterday). Pinnacle started with a marketing data warehouse, developed by marketing, and transitioned this to a corporate initiative. Pinnacle, like Harrah’s, want to get a “play card” into your hands so you can be tracked. Their legacy applications include:

  • ACSC tracks the gambling data and is the key system for regulators.
  • LMS is a hotel system tracking customer data and room inventory/scheduling but it does not really track customers with respect to the casino.
  • POS Micros is being used for regular retail.

The marketing data warehouse started with an intent to deliver phase 1 for customer profile and contact list generator. Became a solution for all the problems/issues – tier management, guest relations, 360 of customer etc. However, they had a lot of data issues including duplicate customers, disassociated players (problem gamblers, for instance), lots of regulation about data, lack of closed loop and data mapping problems. On top of this the legacy systems have complex storage of data across tables and areas – customer data is spread all over the place as systems evolved.

Development of an enterprise architecture is key as it helps bring things together. Terry’s approach is to use the enterprise architecture – data, business and more – to show the kinds of patterns and processes that the architecture would enable. Aiming at a to-be architecture with an Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) around 5 domains – customer, product, financial, asset and employee – supporting the various functions needed. This focus on 5 domains helps keep management attention on the realities of data management like who owns which data.

The technology framework involves applications supplying data to middleware that puts the data into the data warehouse. This supports data marts and allows the replacement of the marketing data warehouse. These data marts can drive processes (rules, BI, workflow) that support the business drivers. A full life cycle is needed to so that data stays up to date and consistent. The mapping of the data needed in the EDW to the source systems is also critical to track system of record – particularly since so many of the source systems are a mess from a data perspective. This must engage the line of business managers as they can understand the value and costs and see the opportunities and this drives the ROI.

With the pressure from Harrah’s, data is money. Customers will go where they feel loved and appreciated.