How to Pull the Data You Want with Your Existing TechnologyBy Azam Husain, RavingSeptember 11, 2017 at 1:00 pmToday’s modern casino produces an enormous amount of data for marketers to leverage. But like many busy casino marketers, finding the time to build the reports to do the analysis is time-consuming. And many marketers may think they lack the technical skills needed to make sense of all that data. All too often, many believe that investing in a new tool or technology is the answer. And while this may be a reasonable solution in certain situations, most casinos already have a lot of what they need to be successful.Here are a few tips to consider:1. Cost – You don’t need to buy new products.You have already invested heavily in technologies for your casino. Most casinos have Enterprise Agreements or Select Agreements with Microsoft that entitle you to all of the technologies you need to make your organization more successful. And advanced Microsoft BI tools, like Power Query and Power BI, are free. Continue to leverage everything you already own before looking at new tools to solve problems that you don’t think you can with your current technology.2. Speed – You don’t need your IT department to build reports for you.Imagine that you have an idea for a time-sensitive promotion. But, you need to review your player demographic data first to understand sizing and promotion costs. Putting in an IT request to pull this data could take days or weeks. Using Microsoft’s Power Query for Excel (remember, it’s free), you can connect directly to your casino data source and import the data on your own. And then, using the power of Excel, you can quickly and efficiently build whatever report you need to gain insight and make a decision.3. Simplicity – With Power BI you can build incredible data visualizations.In this report, we’re going to focus on some maximizing tools that you already have through Microsoft.You are thinking of reconfiguring the slot machines on your floor. But first, you want to understand the daily/weekly/monthly profitability of each machine. Using Microsoft Power BI, you can build engaging report visualizations that connect directly to your data without requiring an IT developer. Using Power BI, you could build a tree map to illustrate relative profitability for each machine. Or, you could build a map of your casino floor with KPI indicators for each machine, allowing you to visualize the best configuration.So, what is the best way to leverage your current investments? Empower your people to make the technology work for your casino. Give them the training they need to be successful with your data.Some tips to make your training effective:Be inclusive – Regardless of your team’s current skill set, anyone can learn the technologies necessary to make them effective with data. Anyone can be a “data nerd.”Just do it – The best way to learn is to do. Get your folks to roll up their sleeves and dive head-first into your data. It’s the best way to learn.Have fun! – Data is liberating and empowering. But it is also a ton of fun to learn new insights, and then apply those insights in creative ways.Good luck – and remember, stories are just data with a soul.