Saturday, 30 July 2011

Some trends in online gaming - A look at some data

We have been taking a look at some some technology and gaming trends by analysing Google search and news data since 2004.  Here are the results:

Software License v. Software-as-a-Service

There is clearly enormous interest in software services (or SaaS), which has been consistently outpacing the traditional software sales model in terms of interest.  SaaS is also outpacing traditional software implementations in terms of sales.  Why?  Businesses want safe, secure, on-demand and affordable software solutions.  Therefore SaaS, along with cloud computing, a technology megatrend fuelling SaaS, will continue to grow.

CRM v. Analytics

There has been a major shift in interest from traditional CRM software and activities to analytics i.e. statistics at speed, scale and simplicity, a topic we discuss in this whitepaper.  The 'one-size-fits-all' approach to marketing and consumer services is being replaced with more customised, personalised and relevant targeting and services.  Not only are companies benefiting from sales growth through the use of predictive analytics but also consumers are benefiting with more personalised and relevant services.  Analytics as a technology trend will continue to gain momentum as more organisations start leveraging data more intelligently.

Internet Gaming v. Social Gaming

There has been huge interest in social gaming in the past two years, and whilst Google searches for internet gaming still remain higher than for social gaming, the news volumes for social gaming have been considerably higher, reflecting the massive interest and growth in social media and the growing social gaming industry.

Online Poker v. FarmVille

Building on the last trend, it's interesting to see just how much interest FarmVille generated when it was launched in comparison to online poker, for example.  The only time that online poker news has matched that of FarmVille was in April 2011 following 'Black Friday', the US indictments against Poker Stars, Full Tilt and Absolute Poker (if you are interested in poker news then try following Stuart Hoegner and Kim Lund on Twitter).  It's also interesting to think about this data in terms of the product lifecycle of social games i.e. are they relatively short-lived, in that the data suggests that after an initial large spike, interest begins to tail off.  Google's data doesn't go back far enough for us to analyse consumer search and news data when online poker first launched however the comaprisons from the last 7 years provide interesting insight.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Show Us the Data (It’s Ours, After All)

An interesting article by Richard Thaler, professor of economics at Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business, makes the case why consumers should own their ever growing personal data generated as a result of digital social and commercial interactions.  Data is big business.  Why?  Because sophisticated organisations who can accumulate and mine data use it to generate insights, and ultimately sales.  But whilst organisations invest heavily is using data to drive sales, Thaler focuses on the consumer and how access to personal data could help to provide better services.  In the mobile phone sector, for example, transparent pricing can not only help to stimulate the right kind of economic growth argues Thaler, but also that consumers could save considerable amounts of money by switching to the right plan. But to pick the best plan, you need to be able to estimate how much you use services like texting, social media, music streaming and sending photos.

James Beckland also discusses personal data and psychographics in this interesting Mashable article.  Buckley breaks personal data into three categories; social profile data, behavioural data and customer lifecycle data. We have discussed customer lifecycle data in our previous blog on marketing and we have also shared insight into our research on the analysis of gambling behavioural data too. Social profile data provides a rich new source of personal insight.  For example, organisations would very much like to know which affinity brands influence their best customers, which celebrities they follow, and the themes of the messages they regularly share.

Given that personal data is now i) exponentially increasing and ii) becoming increasingly valuable, what if your personal gambling data, data that describes in detail the games you play during each session you log on, all of your transaction details, details on your wins and losses, your social media interactions, chat room data, etc, could be easily downloadable and made available to share in a friendly format with other websites offering value-added services?  It is not inconceivable that one day players will be able to fully control who can see their personal data so that they can leverage it better, not only to get better deals, but also to make smarter decisions about their health and wealth. At Bet Buddy, one of the ways we are using data is to allow gamblers to make more informed decisions about their gambling.  For example take a look at Advisor, our player facing app, which provides rich, relevant, and interactive data insights for gamblers to help them make more informed decisions about their gambling.