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Oleksii Khodenko, product owner at Playson, highlights the importance of back-office reporting and analytical tools for operators trying to win in a highly competitive industry.

He also explains the complexity of data nowadays, the capabilities of existing systems, and how game developers could step up their approach to deliver greater insight.

How crucial is data and analytics for the iGaming industry?

Data and analytics (D&A) play a crucial role in any industry. Gartner underlines the mission-critical role of D&A for the organisation, its biggest potential impact on the organisation’s competitive advantage (and maybe even its survival in these uncertain times).

In its recent research of the technology trends, Gartner defines Digital immune system (data-driven insight into operations) among key strategic considerations for 2023.

The iGaming industry couldn’t be more different. It is a huge sector, expected to generate revenue of €41.7bn just for Europe in 2023 and €88.7bn worldwide, with the iGaming share expected to reach 46% of total online gambling revenue on average in 2023.

European online markets are highly competitive, with more than 400 game providers in the industry and hundreds of new games released each month. With the ever-changing preferences of the players, it has never been a harder moment to win the competition.

Whether it is suppliers looking to learn more about player behaviours or operators analysing potential markets for growth opportunities, we all require statistics to help inform key decisions.

According to our own research among Playson partners, we discovered that 50% of operators require more information about the market and players. They have mastered internal data sources and would like to understand the market to outperform it.

The need for data-driven analytics becomes even more important for new online casinos brands trying to establish themselves in an emerging or mature market.

A majority of smaller operators without the required funds to spend lavishly on major advertising campaigns have to rely on alternative and clever approaches that ensure their online offering is attractive to a wide audience.

With challenges around product innovation and the increase of non-traditional content, this becomes more difficult when you cannot utilise data to learn more.

What are the biggest problems with data and its complexity?

With every company striving to gain their share of the market, the lack of data makes it extremely difficult for many operators to understand players, whether that relates to emerging demographics or those in different jurisdictions. There are also financial risks attached when operators cannot validate, or are unable to, check the transactions.

But the issue with D&A has even more layers. Many businesses do have data, such as market data, internal, customer-specific data, etc. However, the next level of problem may arise in three ways:

Quality data gathering is expensive: The biggest issues usually revolve around costs associated with data, storage and aggregation, meaning the costs involve infrastructure rather than the actual tools.

Large operator groups can lean on significant budgets and use detailed databases to gain an advantage. Unfortunately, 80% of managers mentioned they still do not have enough data.

They can work with the usual bets and spins, across countries or casinos or games, but when a deep analysis is required, they do not have enough mechanisms.

Data isn’t full or accurate: Another 50% of our partners mentioned that they do have enough data, but it is lagged. The data is sometimes more than a day behind and they do not receive timely information about malfunctioning, or fraud, and cannot resolve critical complaints from users, or catch urgent issues. They need live data as soon as possible with as proactive informing as possible.

Data is hard to interpret: Modern systems need to guide the user and help the user with interpretation. This increases the importance iGaming businesses of having access to efficient back-office reporting.

In order to level the playing field, it’s crucial that small or new casinos can accurately track the performance of a title or promotions.

Obtaining insight that larger companies already have can make a huge difference and significantly enhance business operations for those starting out.

How does back-office reporting enhance operations?

Back-office reporting is an efficient and cost-effective way of tracking the performance of individual titles and promotions, which in turn generates valuable insight that allows operators to adjust their content offering accordingly.

For instance, if an operator analyses a particular market and the response shows that their Hold and Win games have produced higher player engagement figures or revenue streams, they can ensure these types of games remain the focal point of their future content stream.

We all know that player bases respond differently, but you cannot always pinpoint how and why without the aid of a sophisticated back-office reporting system.

While having access to back-office reporting seems straightforward, the sad truth is that for those small to medium-sized casinos that require such support, a complex analytical tool can feel like being a costly luxury.

And yet it is our view that game providers can play their part by providing this useful compilation of data in a more cost-effective way, especially for operators that have restricted budgets.

With tighter regulatory standards being implemented across Europe, the need to analyse the performance of individual titles is more important than ever before. Without access to analytics, the hurdle for smaller companies becomes ever more daunting and the gap between competitors and the bigger brands will only increase.

On the other hand, those that do have back-office capabilities stand a great chance of establishing themselves as a reputable operator.

In a world full of developing technologies, nothing is set in stone – as we progress and learn more about back-office reporting and analytics, these services will only become more advanced. This means that with more innovation and creative systems we can improve on traditional formats, or find distinctive variants that work for different operators.

What is the xEYE Viewboard for Playson partners?

At Playson, we help with data on all different levels and showcasing this is our very own analytical system called xEye Viewboard, a product that makes data management easy and supports partners – including C-level employees, agents and managers.

The multi-faceted system can produce comprehensive data, which is updated every hour, provides performance-based reports and monitors all player transactions.

Operators can learn which titles are more popular by seeing which of our games are producing more GGR, bets placed, and can even analyse the transactions and sessions of players.

This offering has been very popular with partners, who appreciate the statistical support our tool can provide. It is also a great reminder on what suppliers can do to make life easier for operators. Otherwise they would not always have the chance to gain valuable insight, which too often comes at a premium.

If you are interested in this product, please contact marketing@playson.com for more information.

Oleksii Khodenko is a highly experienced product manager with a master’s degree in Economic Analysis from the Houston University, as well as over seven years of experience in product development. He has a proven track record of owning the end-to-end development cycle of SaaS systems, bringing a pragmatic approach and focus on proactive problem-solving to deliver high-quality product outcomes.