Why Big Data’s Big News for Online Gaming

For some time now, big data has been the phrase of the moment: an information phenomenon that is going to transform the way that the world works in almost every way. And it’s true: Everyone from financial institutions to online retailers are harnessing it to understand more about their customers and their preferences.

This is good news for both sides – the organisations can run themselves more efficiently, and hopefully profitably, and customers get more of what they want.

This is especially useful for sectors where there is a high level of competition as it also helps to create a distinct advantage for those who use the data most effectively. This is why there has been a huge upsurge of both gaming companies and entertainment services. But how and why are brands such as video services and online casino sites collecting data about their players?

For games developers, this data can be incredibly detailed and complex. For example, in online gaming, big data allows companies to create a 360o picture of how players play ranging from the most popular times of day that they choose to the way that they take part, either individually or against others. It can even help to identify the parts of a game that prove too challenging leading to drop-outs by players.


This, in turn, means that games can be refined to make these stages easier to navigate, or even to remove them altogether. This is vital because the last thing any company who may have invested several years and millions of dollars developing a game want is for players to abandon it because it’s simply too hard to play.

For online casinos there are a number of similarities in the way that they can use big data but due to their unique nature, which combines gaming with cash deposits and withdrawals, there are also a considerable number of differences too. Underlying everything is the need to both attract and retain customers who may also find themselves bombarded with encouragement to try out competitors too.

To gain customers, virtually all online casinos offer some kind of joining bonus and this involves a delicate balance of making it generous enough to be attractive without hitting their own profitability too hard. By analysing how effective different kinds of bonus are by looking deep into the data can streamline efficiency, especially when coupled with information about what attracts the kind of player who will remain loyal to the brand rather than moving on to the next alluring offer from another operator.

Once a player has shown some loyalty to a particular online casino, big data also offers countless opportunities to cement the relationship. For example this may be by identifying their best customers and awarding them VIP status, which both qualifies them for exclusive offers and games and also deepens the relationship – an aspect of customer loyalty that some consider to be of even greater importance than just financial incentives these days.


Retaining customers is also all about keeping things fresh and novel which can be easily facilitated using knowledge gained from the behaviour of existing players. For instance, people typically start by playing slots when they first join an online casino before progressing to other games like roulette or blackjack. By knowing when this tipping point is most likely to occur and being able to prompt it the online casino is able to make the player feel they’re being offered a new experience. The result: a satisfied customer who is more likely to remain loyal.


Naturally, we’re still very near the start of the big data story for these two sectors. But with increasingly large amounts of information being generated every year it’s something that will have even greater significance as time goes on. Hopefully it will also help to create an even more personalised customer experience for all.

Sean is a freelance writer and big data expert. He loves to write on big data, analytics and predictive analytics.