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Beth Schultz

Cincinnati Zoo Goes Ape Over Analytics

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Shawn Hessinger
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Re: Your source of motivation?
Shawn Hessinger   7/26/2011 9:47:48 PM
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Seth,

Also impressive that such ownership was taken on the part of management. I know the debate rages about who should drive BI implementation, but, for my money, the accessibility of the tool is also important.

SethBreedlove
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Re: Your source of motivation?
SethBreedlove   7/25/2011 7:54:12 PM
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Great article to show that any and every busines needs good analystics. I like the analogy that they were 'blind' before with out it. 

Shawn Hessinger
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Re: Your source of motivation?
Shawn Hessinger   7/22/2011 6:49:22 PM
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John,

I guess the key in what you are talking about is that IT can no longer afford to be "support" alone. I mentioned this in an earlier comment but I think that business intelligence brings the business and technical side together like never before. These are technologies and disciplines that are more than tools. They will transform business as never before. And those who wield this technological power will be the leaders no matter what department they happen to come from.

John Lucas
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Re: Promotion
John Lucas   7/22/2011 3:52:04 PM
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Generally speaking, most attractions including those you mentioned have not discovered the world of analytics yet.  I am presenting with Brookfield Zoo at the AZA Annual Conference in September on this project, and thru that will introduce our story to even more than we have already (40+ attractions).  The interest level is generall very high in being able to do the things that we are doing.  But in short, my industry is in the very early stages of learning what analytics has to offer them.

Yes, we have in essence reinvested the savings out of what we have derived from Analytics and the promotions savings either back into further development of our BI tool to extract even more information and/or investing that back in more successful promotions. 

For example - we used the savings from the failed promotion strategy to focus on a strategy to drive attendance from Dayton and Lexington.  Using Analytics, we recently realized that attendance from those markets is up 28.8% - which we are very pleased with (as there is a corresponding increase in revenue along with that attendance)

BethSchultz
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Re: Promotion
BethSchultz   7/22/2011 9:36:24 AM
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John, thanks for sharing the insight in this thread into how cultural attractions operate (and Arielle for prompting him!). Makes me wonder that the local cultural attractions in my neck of the woods -- Lincoln Park Zoo, Brookfield Zoo and the Chicago Botanic Garden -- are doing with analytics. You mention that you work collaboratively with other area attractions and the regional tourism network to drive up outer market attendance. You also noted saving $94,000 in canceling a promotional effort aimed at the same. Have you been able to reinvest that savings in a new or revised promo and, if so, what do your early measurements show regarding its success?

Louis Watson
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Re: Your source of motivation?
Louis Watson   7/21/2011 11:06:18 PM
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Hi John    I apologize I am a little late to the discussion, but I am very happy to hear your success with Analytics. You are a prime example of how if companies are smart about the use of Analytics it can bring a wealth of added benefit to efficiencies of all kinds.

 

I also wanted to comment on your views of IT taking on more of an business analyst role within companies, I think this is a fantastic idea and should be the goal of IT departments moving forward, it is not enough to merely make sure the basics are provided, IT can be a major asset of a company and not just function in a support role. Mindsets need to change across the board, and with technologies such as virtualization and Cloud based computing becoming common place, lets hope IT takes advantage of this opportunity to reinvent itself.   


scucci
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Re: Analytics in everything
scucci   7/21/2011 11:00:14 PM
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Shawn - This is deffinitly a story about just taking raw data and molding it to your purpose. So many times we're brute forcing our way to the end goal, when if we did some research we could have costed with little effort.

Broadway
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Re: Your source of motivation?
Broadway   7/21/2011 9:01:26 PM
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John, my sense is that, for that transformation to take place within IT that you speak of, that IT needs to be decentralized. So that IT / analysts are dedicated within each business unit, and specialize in effect to work within certain business units and with certain business leaders. Gone are the days of the IT generalist. Any thoughts from the IT vets here? Am I speaking impractical rubbish?

John Lucas
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Re: Promotion
John Lucas   7/21/2011 6:42:46 PM
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Oh, those are the other companies that we partner with on combo tickets and packages.  In short, we work collaboratively with area attractions, or Regional Tourism Network and the Convention and Visitor's Bureaus to form those partnerships.  They are all geared around trying to capture outer market attendance.

Ariella
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Re: Promotion
Ariella   7/21/2011 6:34:44 PM
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Yes, the ones listed when you scroll down on http://cincinnatizoo.org/plan-your-visit/discounts/ I also like the Zebra ice cream idea .

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