Like all casinos, Foxwoods has long been collecting data on the gaming activities of its patrons. However, the organization lacked information about patrons’ nongaming activities—hotel stays, shows, dining, leisurely pursuits—and whether or how that data correlated with the gaming.
“The way you do that is by getting data to a data warehouse and using the tools that are out there to compile and analyze that data,” says Mike Kutia, Director of Hospitality Systems. “We wanted to gather data on visitor activity outside of gaming including reservations, ticketing, point of sales, etc.”
The primary IT environment used by the hospitality systems division runs on an AIX UNIX platform with SAS business analytics software and a Netezza data warehouse appliance as a data warehouse solution; however, a challenge arose that threatened to prevent extension of the BI initiative beyond its initial scope.
“A lot of the other additional data sources that we planned to access going forward are in Microsoft SQL Server,” explains Bonnie Laudig, Senior Database Administrator at Foxwoods. “For instance, retail sales and food and beverage—there are a bunch of them. The SAS technology provides us with connectivity with Netezza and other UNIX databases. But we lacked an ODBC driver to connect from SAS to the Windows-based data sources.”