S'pore integrated resort finds intelligence in customer data

Resorts World Sentosa bets on big data analytics to gain customer insights and provide better service, but CTO Yap Chee Yuen says lack of good IT skills and limited vendor knowledge in unique gaming sector a big challenge.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

For Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), customer data means big business because it provides valuable insights that will allow the integrated resort to better plan and strategize its operations. 

Spanning 49 hectares, RWS is located on Singapore's Sentosa island and houses a casino, several hotels, restaurants, retail outlets, a convention center and the Universal Studios theme park. With a site this expansive and varied, gathering customer insights--such as when they visit the resort and how they spend their time in the resort--will enable the company's sales, marketing and customer service teams to plan their operations more effectively

In an interview with ZDNet Asia, RWS CTO Yap Chee Yuen explained: "Big data and business analytics are important in this respect. They will aggregate and summarize customer information, and provide an intuitive tool for our business users to access this information."

Yap said the next phase of the company's IT strategy will look at utilizing business analytics to process information collected from key transactional systems in the resort, including ticketing systems, the casino and hotel systems, and POS (point of sales) systems at the various F&B outlets.

RWS will also continue to drive its mobile strategy, following the July launch of its Apple iOS app. The mobile app includes a map to help visitors find their way around the resort, as well as a directory of its dining outlets. Used inside the resort, the iOS app also provides real-time information on the queue times of rides in Universal Studios so visitors can better gauge how long they will have to wait before getting on the ride. 

According to Yap, the iOS app was designed to improve visitors' experience in the resort and allow them to better plan their activities. 

RWS will be adding more interactive services in the mobile app, including a loyalty reward and redemption service, as well as online booking capabilities for the resort's range of entertainment options, he said. There are also plans to include support for other platforms such as Google's Android, he added.

While Yap has big plans to improve business efficiencies, he is challenged by the scale and complexity of managing systems and data that are so distinct across the company's different operations. He is also hindered by the lack of relevant IT skills in Singapore.

Yap explained: "The vendors need to understand the scale and complexity of our operations. But, at the same time, the skills of IT professionals in this industry sector are scarce. There just aren't many gaming IT professionals in singpaore.

"The knowledge of the vendors is also limited. So there's a lot of education, learning and training [needed] in the implementation of our ICT initiatives," he said.

Editorial standards