How one Microsoft partner is making analytics fashionable in Australia
- 08 November, 2016 15:30
As digital transformation tops the agenda for businesses across Australia, the channel is responding through innovation from the heart of Western Australia.
Leading the charge is Satalyst, a Perth-based IT solutions provider working with companies to capitalise on the growing appetite of emerging technologies in the market.
As a Microsoft gold partner, Satalyst most recently engaged with the South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC), piloting the use of people movement trackers at the recent Adelaide Fashion Festival, which had 5500 ticketed attendees this year.
Powered by Microsoft’s Azure Internet of Things platform and Power BI, the tool was used to count, monitor and analyse the flow of people during the festival.
With new insights and data collected, the SATC intends to make better decisions around marketing, merchandising, space optimisation and the broader infrastructure.
“We’ve moved a significant number of customers to the cloud in the past and we’ve helped improve their processes and streamline delivery of solutions using Azure,” Satalyst CEO, Todd Elliott, told ARN.
“With SATC, we set out to put together a better automated solution.”
As explained by Elliott, the tool collects data from any mobile device within the event venue that has its Wi-Fi settings enabled.
Following this, a "comprehensive set of data" was collected by positioning a number of unobtrusive collection points around the catwalk and feature marquee, allowing them to see behind the scenes which catwalks and stalls people visited, when and how long they were there for, and whether they visited any other sessions afterwards without compromising individuals’ privacy.
The creation of Satalyst’s People Movement Monitor didn’t just solve SATC’s problem however, it emphasised the importance of understanding customer businesses in relation to ongoing transformation.
“As a company, we look to provide smart integration and technology and we want to help businesses receive information about people to fuel their business needs,” Elliott said.
“We realised to provide IoT solutions, particularly to many customers, they don’t want to have half the problem solved, they want the whole lot."
“We work closely with partners to offer that end-to-end solution.”
With the new insights from the data collected, the SATC aims to identify further trends and patterns that can help it make better decisions around marketing and staffing events, space optimisation, merchandising and the broader infrastructure.
“Looking at how long someone is spending in an area, who is returning to the event or who is attending our different events will in the future help with the placement of refreshments, seating and other facilities,” South Australian Tourism Commission ICT manager, Michelle Stokes, added.
“Ideally, it’ll help enhance our guests’ experience.”
In providing software-as-a-service to the customer, Elliott said the breakthrough highlights new ways for organisations to learn more about the audiences they target.
Looking ahead, Elliott said plans are in place to increase deployments across other events nationwide.
“We’re working on a number of pilot trials with other organisations across Australia and because it’s all deployed as-a-service, should there be any glitches, it is easy to fix in one point,” he added.
“We’re targeting ticketing and public transport companies, sporting events, through to things like nursing homes, or mining and law enforcement.
“Our solution is very flexible. It has a significant, broad application and leveraging the Microsoft platform is good for us as we’re always looking to work with newer technologies.”
Moving forward, Elliott said Satalyst will continue to use the current release of Azure functionality, but will also provide deeper levels of support through increased use of data analytics.
“For us, it’s part of an ongoing desire to find innovative solutions to customer problem,” he added.
“We’re working on monitoring solutions that lets customers have their own data so that they can retain it. It’s all about scalability and the advanced analytics that you can get from it.
“IoT is just a way to collect data. It’s now a matter of what you do with that data. With our pilots, it will be interesting to see how it works out.”