Bring it all together: business intelligence for clubs
It’s not easy running a successful registered club. There are so many moving parts: gaming, food and beverage, events, sport, marketing, finance, membership management, the list goes on and on.
Keeping on top of it all is a challenge. And it’s a challenge club managers meet with the help of information systems. The problem is, each system performs a different role and they don’t integrate with each other. The accounting system takes care of finance. The membership management solution keeps track of members and makes sure they renew their membership. The point of sale system looks after cash transactions. Gaming technology keeps the machines ticking over. And the event management system streamlines all the tasks involved in staging a successful live show, conference or gala dinner.
While those systems perform critical functions, for too long clubs have been without a way to tie them all together. Making things difficult is that each system has its own architecture, data structure and rules. Sure at least some of those systems are capable of producing useful reports, but there has never been an easy way to leverage the technology to provide a holistic, 360 degree view of what’s happening in a club.
Contributing to this situation is the fact that the typical club is not well-resourced when it comes to information technology skills. Many clubs have no choice but to outsource key functions, and in‑house personnel lack the knowledge required to get the most out of the systems they have, some of which reside in the cloud and others are on‑premise.
Those responsible for managing these systems also face constraints of their own. Managers usually don’t have the time or inclination to drill down into their technology, produce reports and look for insights that would help the club run better. There’s always more pressing matters to attend to.
But what would it be like if a club could draw data from each of its information systems, wherever they’re driven from, and pull it all together without requiring spreadsheets, time‑consuming reporting processes or specialist IT expertise?
If that could happen, the result would be a club that runs more efficiently, more productively and more profitably. Club managers, executives and board members could gain new insights into member behaviour and adjust their club’s activities accordingly. They could find out what’s working in their club and what isn’t, where waste is occurring and where the best revenue‑generating opportunities lie.
If all that sounds a bit abstract, let me offer this example. Suppose a club holds a bingo game every Saturday. Wouldn’t it be useful to know what bingo players are spending money in other parts of the club, how much they’re spending and whether the promotional activities targeting them are actually working? Armed with this information, club executives could plan their activities, promotions, staff rostering and food and beverage resources based on solid data rather than on gut-feel or some notion of what appears to have worked in the past.
And let’s not forget gaming. What if club managers could unearth the data in their gaming machines that tells them what machines are the most profitable, which locations work best, and which gaming promotions are generating the most dollars? For too long this has all been too hard, and again it comes down to the fact that clubs typically run disparate systems with limited reporting functionality. While the data is certainly there, accessing it and making sense of it is not easy. And in some cases gaming technology vendors put up roadblocks for clubs that make getting hold of important data near-impossible.
It’s definitely a pain-point for clubs, but not one that has lent itself to easy healing.
But it’s a problem Professional Advantage has been working on for several years. The result is the ClubIntel Business Intelligence (BI) software solution. Designed specifically for the registered club industry, ClubIntel allows a club to uncover, report on and analyse key data from each of a club’s business units and processes. From attendance numbers and peak service times through to gaming, food and beverage and point‑of‑sale ClubIntel provides a single point of access for all critical business information.
ClubIntel recognises that most clubs have more than one site. Using ClubIntel, clubs can compare promotions, events and other activities from one site to the next, benchmarking their way to towards optimal business processes and maximum ongoing revenue.
If you’re involved in running a club, I invite you to have a chat with one of our ClubIntel consultants.