A data-analytics project designed to help Scene75 Entertainment gain a deeper insight into its customers and what attracts them is under way at Wright State University.
Scene75 is the largest entertainment center in the nation, attracting more than 1 million combined guest visits in 2017 at its locations in Dayton, Cincinnati and Cleveland. Attractions include arcades, go-karts, laser tag, mini bowling, blacklight miniature golf, bumper cars, bouncing inflatables and 4-D motion theaters as well as bars and restaurants.
Jonah Sandler is the founder and CEO of Scene75 Entertainment. The international award-winning brand was named the Best Place for Family Fun in Ohio by Ohio Magazine and the Top Family Entertainment Center in North America by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.
The company has asked students and faculty in the Management Information Systems Program at Wright State’s Raj Soin College of Business to analyze company data in order to better understand the customers who come to Scene75 and how best to serve them.
“The company needs to understand from a data perspective what a typical customer model is,” said Shu Schiller, chair of information systems and supply chain management. “We need to extract data from the database, put it together and try to have a 360-degree understanding of Scene75’s customers.”
The numbers are being crunched at the college’s Data Analytics and Visualization Environment, or DAVE lab.
The 1,000-square-foot lab, which features a mini supercomputer as well as visualization software, opened in the fall of 2015. It is used to teach students business analytics, a fast-growing field that is quickly becoming a huge part of how corporations and organizations do their jobs.
Students acquire data from multiple sources, collect it in a single location, select the relevant information and then use software tools to analyze it and find meaningful and useful knowledge.
The large, wall-sized screen in the lab is segmented into 12 different sections. It can display 12 different sets of data and images at once or any number of combinations, such as four sets of data on three screens, two sets of data on six screens and so forth.
“When people come to entertainment locations, they are usually showing up as a family,” said Schiller. “That poses some challenges from a data perspective. One credit-card swipe doesn’t necessarily mean it is from one person.”
Scene75 wants a better idea of such things as where its customers are from, how long they stay and what attractions they use.
“When you come to Scene75, there are over a hundred different kinds of games to play,” said Schiller. “Some games are more expensive than others, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they are more profitable.”
Activities also include parties, volleyball games and other group events. In addition, there are special promotions such as VIP passes and pizza nights.
“How do we know if some events or games are effective or not?” said Schiller. “Do they increase profitability or revenue?”
She said the students and faculty members are still in the middle of analyzing the data.
“It’s a very large amount,” Schiller said. “There are thousands of transactions every day and we need to understand the data from both behavioral and business perspectives.”