BDB Podcast Episode 26: Tim Hortons, Justin Bieber, and The Flames: How Analytics is Fueling the Calgary

Calgary Flames
What does Tim Hortons, Justin Bieber, and the Calgary Flames have in common?  In episode 26 of the Big Data Beard podcast Brett Roberts and Erin K. Banks explored just this with Deniece Kennedy, Senior Director of Business Intelligence and Special Projects and Ziad Mehio, Senior Director of IT and Food and Beverage from an operations side from the Calgary Sports and Entertainment. We talk about their business problems and how they are able to solve them with data analytics. One of them being the drop count and getting people to come back to the building.
Listen to some of the surprises they encountered through data analytics as well as some items that they already knew and data analytics was able to confirm. They discuss their internal business as well as their partnerships that have helped them drive even more business.
Strata Data London is right around the corner and we are giving away a full conference pass!  Here are the details on how you could enter to win. As will all Strata Data and AI conferences, use promo code PCBEARD. to get 20% off conference passes!
Music from this episode is by Andrew Belle.

 

Transcript:

Erin Banks:
[1:02]
So we’re back with another episode of The Big Data beard podcast my name is Erin Banks and I’m joined by my Troublemaker in charge Brett Roberts and I’m really really excited about this podcast we have two special guest.
Denise Kennedy.
Indian male and I met with Ziad. Maybe like a couple months ago and Boston at the state of analytics event and it was great and I knew immediately I had to get him on the podcast because he was telling me.
How the NHL is using data to really deal with issues such as attendance which I know is it is a large problem that’s happening not just for the NHL before.
You know college sports for professional sports all professional sports so I thought it was really interesting wanted to automatically get him on the podcast so we can really talk about.
The business problem that they’re struggling with how they’re solving them what they’ve learned across that experience so without further Ado just want to.

[2:39] Introduce again our special guest and hopefully you know why don’t you too I take the opportunity introduce yourself and your role and then what your focus on within the company.

Ziad Mehio:
[2:48] Hello everybody I’m Denise Kennedy I am the senior director of business intelligence and special project I have been with the company for 10 years now.
And for the first five years I was the director Finance so ran the finance department I am a CPA by trade So within public practice Deloitte.
And was actually a tech specialist before coming to cover sports and entertainment.
And 5 years ago created the business intelligence group to do all of the fun projects that we never had time for when I was in finance.
So we focused on like you’re inside the drop count and it has turned into a whole bunch of new and exciting project.

[3:38] Everybody Ziad MangaHere,
I wear cowboy hats right now it being one of them so my title is senior director of IT guy took over a food and beverage on the operation side as well so pretty unique in that sense in,
and maybe we can get into some details on that but I’m really focused around older technology for a sports team.

Brett Roberts:
[4:03] Yes it was yeah that’s that’s actually really interesting it when we were chatting about this prior to the recording I kind of had to take a step back I haven’t seen those two hats being worn by the same person before.

[4:16] Or that the diversity of those two hats right so can you talk a little bit about how are there any synergies or is there any you know you have a a business partner and food and beverage and then you have it at that you know they work together and and.

[4:30] What we’re seeing with this new world of it being a business partner and being at the table being able to run both those organizations you see any direct synergies or efficiencies that come from that.

Ziad Mehio:
[4:41] Yeah I think he hit the nail on the head a little bit there I’ve always been denied to eat all my life so I nearly 20 years.
In that I’ve also crossed into Hospitality so.
It’s a really understanding business partners working with the business trying to support them,
on a day-by-day basis has allowed me to understand what they do and has allowed me to grow my skill-set outside of technology in and really.
Intrigued by business operations is allowed me to take on the secondary row have I learned a lot she bet you but I love it.
Both hats allowed me to really leverage technology Denise’s group from a bi perspective to push the food and beverage business for.

Erin Banks:
[5:33] Yes that’s right so on that note something nice you had said obviously like 5 years ago you were focused you know from a drop counting you kind of talked a little bit about how that’s grown so can we get in a little bit more detail about that.

Ziad Mehio:
[5:46] But definitely so my first project was to figure out how do we get people to come back to the building.
I think people would be surprised to learn for all live event even concerts where you’re only buying one specific ticket lots of people don’t show up so they paid for the ticket but they’re not coming to the building.
I’m so.
We started text messages why are they coming what’s preventing them from coming if they really can’t come are there other options for their tickets,
such as we now have a program where people can donate their ticket to charity and so we get a lot of underprivileged children who get to use tickets that people can’t come,
and so that’s been a really great program.
And then do things like theme night Western night bobblehead night do those types of things actually bring people into the building.
And so we started there and ended up with looking at our food choices.
Does the price of food impacted people are coming does the price of parking impacted people are coming.
Do our selection of food offerings impact obviously weather being in Calgary snow storms we have we looked at day of the week start time opponent.

[7:16] All of those types of things to try and figure out the best way to have a great customer experience.
We want every fan regardless of the product on the ice to have a great time when they’re in our building.

Brett Roberts:
[7:33] That’s really cool and I like the idea of.

[7:36] Being able to make use of seats that have been sold but maybe someone is not going to show up and I seen that many times and there’s been a few.

[7:45] No concerts in games that I haven’t shown up to and I bought a.

[7:48] But she had question for you you know that that’s normally a last minute decision where he might be a last minute decision whether it’s weather related or just so you know something’s going on.

[7:58] How does it support being able to figure out when people can’t come.

[8:04] And then be able to reallocate those tickets on person not real time but no hours and and maybe less than ours versus days is there any it challenges to that.

Ziad Mehio:
[8:15] What was done to combat that is is on people with with easy ways to to transfer the tickets,
Without Partners for Ticketmaster with developed,
apps with people within that with a couple of clicks they can transfer the tickets to a friend they can sell them back through the secondary Market,
they can donate them to charity is Denisa said,
or let their account manager pay we just can’t use these is there somebody else in mind I would be willing to pay for these so we try to make it as simple as possible for people to to transfer.

Erin Banks:
[8:59] So is there anything like while you were going through these like practices and and learning about like the food and the times in the in the teams in the in a bobble heads or not bobbleheads is there any of that light came up the kind of surprise you.

Ziad Mehio:
[9:13] So I would say it’s sort of really Affirmed.
What I thought in that opponent is really the single biggest driver if you have the Toronto Maple Leafs here the Montreal Canadiens.
They’re going to come the fans are going to come generally it’s fans of the opposing team who are coming if they don’t come that often.
But.
Day of the week and saturation of games in a week is what surprised me the impact that that has and so.
You have a few.
Die Hard band who love coming to the building Monday Wednesday Friday Sunday but the majority of people can’t work that into their life.
I’m so how do we a work on our schedule work with the NHL in the other teams to maybe only have two in a week or three in a week rather than for a but then also,
what types of ticketing products can we offer so that to we now have.
For a while but it is allows us to sort of create new products but.
How do you make it so that people can buy 5 games or 10 games or so that.
You you have to reach a broader client base in order to sell the same number of tickets but then you get more people to come to the building.

[10:49] It again it goes to.
Allowing them to easily transfer their tickets a lot of our clients or corporate clients so.
We need to Market to them because they’re the ones who are giving away their tickets so they weren’t coming Monday Wednesday Friday anyway,
so how do we then Market do people who get transferred tickets and entice them to come because what we found out was.
Corporate clients were giving their tickets to their customers.
And they weren’t using them and they didn’t know so when we would call them to ask why they didn’t use their ticket they were actually unaware that their customer had to use the ticket so how do we get,
that customers information so that we can maybe give them a food offer or retail offer or a deal on parking to try and get new customers into the building.

Erin Banks:
[11:50] Yeah so that’s interesting so D are you sharing this information get share like within the NHL or do you tend to just kind of keep it local or within your own kind of group.

Ziad Mehio:
[12:02] Actually I just came back last night from a conference in Las Vegas with all the other NHL teams and their we had two days of session where everybody shares everything,
no we have to be a little careful because of collusion laws in the United States about you know we have to keep it.
A little high level but definitely we all share what we’re doing what we’re looking at and how.
How they date changes what they do and any increase in Revenue cuz at the end of the day if you drive great customer experience you’ll drive your bottom line.

Brett Roberts:
[12:45] Denise not to put you on the spot there but that’s pretty cool I didn’t realize it a conference in Vegas are always fun for the first couple days but.

[12:55] Any cool take away is any high-level things that you can share your biggest aha moment or that you can share coming out of that conference.

Ziad Mehio:
[13:03] Serena one of the things that I learned that most of the other teams have significantly larger business intelligence unit spend we do.
I learn how they created their departments in the types of people they look for to help Drive Revenue one of the other teams has social sciences PhD from Oxford University.
One has an astrophysicist to the bringing all these different types of skill sets to try and come up with.
Different ideas of Razor way of how do we do this how do we do that and I think the interesting thing.
That I took from it was there’s a team who actually they have multiple teams and they actually rearrange their food menu boards based on which team is playing because.
You know.
NBA team might like different food than the NHL team proud and so they’ve actually seen a higher Revenue just by changing the menu board order which blew my mind.

Erin Banks:
[14:12] You like like me like putting like french fries on the top verses on the bottom of the menu really.

Ziad Mehio:
[14:16] Yes I know like I blew my mind.

Erin Banks:
[14:21] I definitely have to say that.
Act like you want to live in Boston the Bruins fans like hockey fans are completely different than like the Celtics fans are basketball fans like it’s a different just even like what they wear right so I do find it fascinating not surprised the audience changes but.
But I do find it amazing to think that just moving the order of food.
Well really impact our brain it says a lot and you know it’s I guess it’s not surprising them that they’re hiring people with these degrees because it is so much about.
Like how we see things or how it is registers in her brain and whether or not oh that’s the first thing we see we really like that food I’m going to order that first I do know that if I look at a menu in there someday like and it’s like I get really excited about it I don’t always go to the next item so that’s fascinating.

Brett Roberts:
[15:07] Yeah I know that that’s cool it it’s almost like where your eye is drawn to and if you can understand and develop.

[15:13] That you know a I’m from Boston to a Bruins fan like this more than that maybe you put a box around it or you put it to the top and you’re going to sell that.

[15:23] That more popular maybe a higher-margin product so that that’s that’s pretty cool and it doesn’t seem like it’s a huge lift to be able to to do that the most low-hanging fruit to be able to at least identify what it is and it’s bigger how do you change the boards and everything.

Ziad Mehio:
[15:38] Did you know it’s interesting because we are the oldest building in the NHL and so we don’t even actually have.
Digital menu boards on all of our concession stands only half the building. So we don’t have that ability to.
Even do variable pricing for.
You know an NHL team versus are WHL team or nll team so it becomes.
You note that a newer technology allows you to do these types of things so we may have to invest in,
digital menu boards on the other side to be able to do some of these things but like you said it is low-hanging fruit that’s not a huge investment for us so,
you know with all these new learnings from all the different teams it’s great to to be able to find the low-hanging fruit that we can improve the customer experience.

Erin Banks:
[16:34] So are there other like Business and Technology challenges that you’re actually like facing like realizing okay is a business this is something that I we need to do or we think it’s beneficial especially when it comes to.
You know especially like you were saying like for food or retail or anything like that but the technology just doesn’t support it at this time.

Ziad Mehio:
[16:53] We are looking at digital currency so it’s hard in our building.
To be able to get the infrastructure to take that so that’s one of our technology challenges right now is how do we.
With our systems what investment would it take or what new system do we need to be able to have a pre-loaded whether it’s a card or whether it’s on an app that people could just come to the building and have.
Their tickets there and cash so that they could just walk up to any concession stand retail stand,
and not have to carry a wallet or anything like that especially with.
Heightened Security in bag Jackson and those types of things you want to make it as easy as possible and so that’s one of the things were investigating and haven’t been able to sort of cracked the nut on is,
what can we use that’s either one card cuz believe it or not we do have a lot of.
Customers who don’t have smartphones and so we need to always be mindful of anything we think of this digital what type of.
Alternative are we going to give those people who don’t have smartphones and so that’s when we working on right now.
Another one is we also have a football stadium and it is also I think the oldest football stadium in the CFL and.

[18:28] We don’t yet have at we can’t deploy an app over there anything like that because we don’t have cell coverage we don’t have.
Have anything like that so so there’s definitely a lot of Technology challenges that come with aging buildings.

Erin Banks:
[18:45] Yeah that’s interesting so what has candles like thinking it would be so much more beneficial to you if you could certainly map.
Like a ticket and somehow I don’t find that person is cuz I know you’ve talked a lot about.
Although I buy a ticket it’s I’m not the one that ends up using it or maybe I’ll buy a pack of like 4 and you don’t know who those four people are right so it’s hard to really apply that person,
to that ticket right but at least you can use additional tools.
That says like this ticket also bought this food or or this retail item or something along those lines right I mean that’s that would be one of those huge advantages that you have to that is that something you.
Are looking at her.

Ziad Mehio:
[19:26] Yeah and what we’d like to be able to do we think if you if we went to mobile entry.
And stop taking tickets or cards or even PDF it would do a lot of things first of all it would combat fraud.
A lot of people sell barcodes and things like that on Kijiji and so people get to the building.
Multiple people have the same barcode so only the first person gets in because the person selling it.
You know it was doing so fraudulently so it would combat that cuz the moment you transfer it it would kill all the other barcodes and it’s only.
Because we’re not taking paper you can’t counterfeit it so it would help our customers in that way and then.
You know lots of people the most common purchases for tickets lots of times people are coming after work things like that to their not.
All coming in together so you can easily transfer your ticket and you wouldn’t have to meet your friend at the door you could meet them at the bar whatever in the building until then we would learn who that person is.
Right then until we’re thinking that mobile entry would really help us increase who’s in our building who’s using the ticket and then if we could add.
The digital currency piece we would now know what they’re spending and then we could start to.

[21:00] Advertised we know that. Comes to the you know the games every weekend you only things to come on weekend and he always buys a beer and a hot dog.
Well maybe now we can give him a coupon for a free beer and hot dog or not allowed to give free alcohol but,
you got you got the point but and then but for a Thursday night game so can we intake Zia to come on Thursday if we how if we give him the.
Beer and hot dog or even at a discount on the beer and hot. So those are the types of things we’d like to do we just haven’t figured out the technology to get it done yet.

Erin Banks:
[21:36] And to Adam at the so I thought the other customers that.
We’re also they were like smaller college programs and they have like this at we talked about this a digital specifically to your point like would it be great if you could offer coupons fish if they were standing.
In line too long at a concession stand you know they were like what if I could pop up a coupon than that maybe that would make them happier but then what they were telling me was their staff.
Is not really technologically-advanced that they couldn’t support that so.
Do you see like a correlation at all with like a staff do you are you looking at that part or.
Does York in your staff also support that in the people that are getting these digital tickets and getting this acknowledge if they can understand all of those tests or or is your staff pretty enough that that.
Downton Abbey.

Ziad Mehio:
[22:26] Sunstopper stop at the stuff we have.
We have a lot of stuff we have about 1500 part-time stuff a lot of them that have been here for her for many years,
I think that’s one of the challenges we’re having in the sense of how do we simplify the transaction because I think that’s key to the whole.
Coupon solution is is how do you make it so seamless anybody can do it and I think that that’s why trying to do and hence we haven’t really deployed anything yet.
Obviously there is a training platform on the staff but but can you make it so simple that no matter what it is it’s.
Anybody can do it and it’s so simple for the customer that it’s a no-brainer.

Erin Banks:
[23:12] Yeah that’s interesting so on that note have you you know within these past 5 years that you’ve been working on this has there been anything that.
You’ve introduced specifically because you’ve done data analytics you know what I mean or or things that you’ve just,
never really had before those 5 years but now that you’re doing all of us like understanding of your audience and having people come in or even with the food and beverage that you’ve introduced something completely new that you you knew that you wouldn’t have been able to do without the Analytics.

Ziad Mehio:
[23:39] So when is the interesting things that she had and I worked on this season was before the season began we analyzed all of the food and beverage concession stands,
each one by themselves,
Revenue cost labor to figure out which where are lowest producing stands and what should we then do with them to make them higher and so.
We did a wine bar a whiskey bar we’ve introduced a test kitchen and our Revenue has increased significantly and our customer feedback has been off the charts,
I’m so without analyzing all of the concession stands to know which ones were doing well.
I don’t think it was the coffee stands that we’re doing well and so the coffee stands are gone.
Ziad actually got Tim Hortons back in the building which is really big deal in Canada and so.
They have now as separate kiosk.
That is also doing really well and then we have the wine bar in Whiskey Bar so we are keeping all of the customers happy and still increasing the revenue.

Erin Banks:
[24:55] Yeah that’s that’s awesome I certainly think it would be spending most my time at the wine bar.

Brett Roberts:
[25:01] Whiskey Bar and Tim Hortons for me hands down.

Erin Banks:
[25:06] If you need some testers I like the wine I will absolutely fly up there and spend all night drinking and watching you know the Flames I would like love that actually.

Brett Roberts:
[25:16] She’s pretty good at that.

Erin Banks:
[25:18] But on that note though like haven’t you said before.
That also like you were tired you in about like concerts right like all the live events are having the same problem right are there people outside of like sporting events that.
That seems somehow I solve x I know you’ve talked before about like a loyalty program in that may not always like work but sometimes some artists have like fan-based kind of.
Offerings in that seems to help.

Ziad Mehio:
[25:48] Big ticket sales but not necessarily getting people in the building once they bought the ticket and so I think the reason.
That you know your live nation’s your abg’s there’s a big promoters.
That we deal with an end that most buildings deal with their not looking at it because it won’t actually increase their revenue they get the ticket sales.
So there’s not as much focus on.
The concerts which I find interesting and a lot of other sports teams don’t actually run their building some do some don’t and so.
When I go to like the meetings I was just in everyone’s focused on this Sports because not everyone runs their building not everyone even runs their food or their retail a lot of those are third-party that they.
They just got a royalty office and so they don’t get to control all aspects of the building like we do and so.
It’s interesting when you look at concerts.
The wine bar is actually more popular during concerts at The Whiskey Bar is more popular during sporting events and so.
It goes back to how if you just change your menu board during different types of events.
But it might go further to should we actually have different food offerings depending on not only have to sporting event versus a concert but on the type of concert.

[27:26] You know when you look at Batavia Justin Bieber when you look at the shaking his head.

Erin Banks:
[27:35] I can’t stop laughing. I forgot.

Brett Roberts:
[27:39] The Biebs.

Erin Banks:
[27:41] I don’t rush I love Rush.

Ziad Mehio:
[27:43] So if we go to the hip right.
The traffic ahead were here there going to be more of a drinking crowd but you’re younger like the reason I said November was because his fans they want the merchandise.
Right so obviously they’re not a high drinking crowd because of their age but they want all the trinkets in the t-shirts and all of those types of things so.
Even just the concert tight can change what we should be offering.

Brett Roberts:
[28:17] Yeah no. I was just hit so that’s that’s awesome targeted off.

Erin Banks:
[28:23] Just going to say is a Bieber fan.

Brett Roberts:
[28:26] I love to be abs,
so Target offering is that that’s awesome what about also like targeted stat allocation or know where do you based on the concert or based on the sporting event wet weather or so.

[28:39] A wine heavy crowd or whiskey heavy crowd or what at what have you do you kind of see like hey we should allocate more staff to support the whiskey bar or the wine bar.

Ziad Mehio:
[28:49] So we actually breakdown all of the events that we have in the building,
by types of even are sporting event we have four or five categories of NHL and so it’s the combination of opponent start time day of the week.
Where we are in the season those types of things and.
We then do prediction on how much we think each Revenue stream is going to make and then that allows us to staff appropriately.
And then.
For food as an example of Z I will make changes on the Fly based on the weather and those types of things so maybe I’ll let see that talk about how he deals with stopping.
Yeah and on the Staffing side cuz you dealing with so many no different then at the patrons coming,
to the games or to a concert we have the same sort of problem on Staffing so you may have a no-show factor of,
about words of Tampa sensor,
it is a bit of a Tetris game when folks will be in the building we doing our the crowd we do no doubt it from other stadiums and what the expectations are in we trying to Resorts accordingly,
but we have been caught in the past.

Erin Banks:
[30:08] Yeah I can imagine so one of those you know it’s great we’re time on all these great things that you’re learning but I think it’s also really important to understand if there’s any mistakes that you’ve made that would maybe the audience would like love to hear about his learning that you can share that while if I had known this is.
This would have been great to have known this before hand or it’ll be great to like share this information of like just mistakes are problems that you ran into your what you’ve learned along the lines.

Ziad Mehio:
[30:33] So I would say one of the things for me that I stopped at we were doing well was it we talked earlier about this team nights and bobblehead nights.
They don’t actually drive people to come to the building at all.
And so it doesn’t mean we’re going to stop doing them it just means that we’re doing it now to create a good customer experience and we’re not doing it because we believe it’s going to increase our drop account.
When are the other things is we have a venue app called saddledome live.
And we offer the in-seat food and beverage which is going really well we also offer in seat retail.
And nobody is purchasing from that so if you look at Amazon it shows that.
People want delivery they want they don’t need to try everything on but yet when they’re in the building they want to go to the store and for people who been to the billing hour.
Retail space is very limited and so it can be hard to move around during an intermission and so it’s not a great experience we’re working on improving that so we thought for sure people with.
Really gravitate towards the retail in seed service and so far we have not figured out how to convince them to do it.

Erin Banks:
[31:59] ESO is does everything that’s in the app is it in the store or they’re like the app has maybe things that are not available in the store.

Ziad Mehio:
[32:06] That have things that aren’t available but we’re looking at potentially putting some exclusive maybe game-used jerseys.
Paper thing to drive people there but we have one of the highest jersey sales in the NHL.
And so we thought for sure.
You know what jerseys on people who are new coming to none cuz we’re called this sea of red and so most people who come all have on the red jersey and.
So lots of people buy it who you know first time or that type of thing we also put cheaper items on we put,
hats on we tried gift with purchase get a game-used puck if you buy we tried free you know free delivery to your seats all of these things.
And yet nothing we have not been able to figure that out yet.

Brett Roberts:
[33:08] Well it was so and you know feedback is important you mentioned earlier that you know you get some direct feedback from.

[33:15] The attendees and and the customers are you also getting feedback from other business stakeholders and other organizations with the in the business as far as you know things to adjust or things to focus on or how does that.

[33:27] No a and pack your probation but also just overall impact the the business analytics with you guys.

Ziad Mehio:
[33:35] So I think we have some.
Business units that utilize us Havoline work closely with food work closely with our ticketing Department.
And we’re just starting to work no with our sponsorship group and end with our Retail Group.
Until I think it’ll be good when we get everyone.
Working on it so that we can get a holistic view of the customer and not just the ticket customer but we have sweets long-term sweet holders we have great marketing Partnerships and so.
It would allow us to go to our sponsors and say Here’s the demographics of everybody in the building or you want to Market to.
You know 25 to 35 year old females will you share market during this concert because in the past this type of concert has been 80% of your demographic,
those types of things would be great so there’s still so much to do.

Erin Banks:
[34:40] Yeah and I was just curious like comment on my Note there’s we talked a lot about like things that are happening within.
You know the building or the arena that you can imagine but there’s obviously there has to be like third party.
Entities that kind of pop up that you don’t that have a huge impact right so like whether or something along those lines how do you.
How do you do that to you do you try to make decisions on the Fly do you look at maybe the how you made decisions in the past and go back and look at that how do you kind of address those things we were just about how much snow that you guys got like last night.
What it’s like okay so we have a lot of snow and if there’s a game like how do we I see not only have to worry about getting rid of the snow which is you know huge, that we have to deal in snowboarding places.
How do you how does that mean I’m play into all of this.

Ziad Mehio:
[35:27] You know we done some focus groups lately and with our football club like most football clubs people love to tailgate.
And so with our weather.
That causes a lot of problems because we were trying to flip that over and get people to tailgate here at the saddledome and during the playoffs.
You may or may not have nice weather it can be snowing in -30 it might also be flushed and quite lovely oh so we always try and,
prepare for the worst but hope for the best so we you know deploy heaters we have snow removal on standby,
we have all those things because we look at historical and go okay.
Generally in April what have we done but you know what’s worth what has it do we need a tent do we need so there’s lots of things that we look at.
Based on past experience but we had a football game this year.
6000 people came because it was a whiteout blizzard I honestly can’t believe.

Erin Banks:
[36:47] Yeah.

Ziad Mehio:
[36:48] But there’s some things that other dad in the world you still not going to be able to change the outcome.

Brett Roberts:
[36:55] Ain’t nothing like going to a white-out blizzard for a football game I’ve done a few at Gillette Stadium myself it’s fun but it’s also a miserably cold.

[37:05] So where do I quickly shift gears.

[37:07] Just to talk a little bit about the infrastructure and the technology so does he have you talked and and both you talked about some of that the challenges of infrastructure is it sin,
older building and Industry to get everything to support the business goals and priorities King Taco bit about what instructs you using the some of the technologies that you’re using to help make all these great things possible.

Ziad Mehio:
[37:30] Yeah absolutely where we’re big Dell EMC shop so we’ve.
We’ve recently refreshed. Of sin is to the vxrail line from Gel which is a hyper converged stock really allowing us to.
Very seamlessly spin up spin down and and move resources accordingly with what the business needs.
In a very very efficient fashion we do run two stadiums and and we’ve replicated those some of that challenges that continue to exist in some of the,
the networking side we continue to increase the amount of data that was pushing and and,
we’ve got a 40 GB back but at the moment and we’re looking to increase that if you look at the video if you look at Social daughter that’s coming back you look at all the data that we have traversing on a game night.
It’s really piling up every single day so we love what we’ve done with Dell and we continue to push that forward.
Of the next few years.

Erin Banks:
[38:48] So are there any apps that you specifically use for dinner when it’s been recently you know.
Think that you know applications of a huge impact know you’ve talked about them being out on the phone or in the mail along those lines but is that about it from an application perspective or are you building out your own tool sets and keep abilities.

Ziad Mehio:
[39:06] Yes I we we’ve done a couple of pilot so if someone’s starting on this journey and I’d highly recommend,
I’m a couple things one,
how to understand what you trying to do understand the questions that you trying to answer and in to make sure that the Dada that you’re collecting is is clean enough to do something with it so we learn the hard way,
in the sense that we we’ve gone down a path and we we free change that so Denise’s team,
and in conjunction with some third parties and I T have have developed it a data warehouse which all the data from all the subsystems is collecting in a fashion that,
and in a way that we can analyze it,
Denisa user uses a product called Spotfire to visualize the data to analyze it to to Crunch the numbers through it and and push it back out to the business so we do have some,
daughter analytics tools that help us do what we need but really the fundamental Foundation of that is the warehouse that she’s built that Aggregates older daughter,
from a number of different systems and including spreadsheets that I think everybody today still uses all over the place.

Erin Banks:
[40:22] Yeah yeah I think it is good on Microsoft older still used.
A lot we talked about that insecurity how people using like for compliance requirements the number one competitor is Microsoft Excel.
Using those tools I got it I got it so before we start this rapid-fire segment that hopefully guys aren’t nervous about I just was wondering if there’s anything that you wanted to leave the audience with or like one last note that you want to make sure that,
got discussed that we certainly haven’t covered on our part.

Ziad Mehio:
[40:58] What I would say sort of to Echo what she had was talking about it.
You need to make sure it whether it’s a third party vendor or someone that you know you hire internally that whoever you’re working with understands your business.
We ate took 3 external Consultants that that help with the warehouse.
Before I got someone who actually understood how complicated.
Sports and entertainment can be they look at it and go over it’s just a hockey team it’ll be really easy yeah I’m here in Calgary they focus mostly on oil and gas.
And because we had were really a chickening business a sponsorship business of food business at Arena management business a retail business it’s really complicated.
And then because we have relied so heavily on spreadsheets and manual processes.
You really need to anticipate push back.
Until you create a culture of change because there are a lot of things that we can’t build Computer Logic for that you can manually do in a spreadsheet no problem.
So there’s a lot of process change that comes along with getting data that you can analyze because.
4 years the 30 years that that we’ve been around,
we’ve done so much stuff manually you know we print out of this system print out of the system and then populate stuff in Epic XL and then manually manipulate it and that’s what you presented.

[42:40] There’s just sometimes no Computer Logic that you you can write to do that.

Erin Banks:
[42:46] Yeah that’s interesting did you want to leave the audience with anything.

Ziad Mehio:
[42:53] I think everyone didn’t anyone that’s trying to do this I think it’s a journey that every organization needs to look at I’m not sure that any business.
Can afford to really invest in analytics and and understanding the daughter and understanding that costume.
It’s something that doesn’t take a ton of effort to get going.
But I think the value that we’ve seen and the value that the league is saying long-term I think it’s a great journey everybody should be at least talking about it I’m a strategic perspective.
There was another thing I would say is we have four years collected data no customer surveys that have been.
Honestly haven’t done a lot with them,
so I would say to don’t collect data just because it’s popular and everybody’s doing it.
Have the end goal in mind,
and then go what do I need to get there because we’ve spent lots of time and money collecting data that hasn’t necessarily been helpful to analyze or in some cases it lives on his spreadsheet somewhere and nobody looks at it again.

Erin Banks:
[44:08] Yeah that’s it just I love that cuz I think that’s what a lot of customers are or and I customers were just people are just dealing with as a whole that are trying to like certainly talk about it so I think that’s really really great information so,
thank you both for sharing all that now this is my favorite part cuz I think as much as like we talked about like taking all those things you guys have no idea what we’re going to ask you.
Adam and all we’ve been talking with you guys about for the past couple weeks is about data analytics.

Brett Roberts:
[44:35] Nothing is off limits.

Erin Banks:
[44:36] On that note so what year do you think that Skynet will go online.

Ziad Mehio:
[44:46] 2038.

Erin Banks:
[44:47] Oh okay Dad did you want to do you have an opinion.
I don’t want to talk to that one.

Ziad Mehio:
[44:56] Opus.

Erin Banks:
[44:58] Alright so what’s the last book that you read.

Ziad Mehio:
[45:03] American Assassin.

Brett Roberts:
[45:05] I will Goodwin.

Ziad Mehio:
[45:06] Mine was the five dysfunctions of a of a team.

Erin Banks:
[45:11] Oh and we still have to smell bad.
So what’s the genre of music that you’re currently like rock into.

Ziad Mehio:
[45:22] I have everything on my playlist from classical to ACDC.

Erin Banks:
[45:29] Nice.

Ziad Mehio:
[45:30] When he even Justin Bieber I’m not I have one or two Justin Bieber Zone.

Brett Roberts:
[45:35] I was going to say yeah so someone has to decide the rocking out to Beaver right now.

Erin Banks:
[45:42] Savannah drinking game.

Brett Roberts:
[45:46] Alright so this is a specific one what’s your favorite Tim Hortons Donuts.

Ziad Mehio:
[45:53] Wow Boston cream for sure so I don’t eat Tim Hortons Donuts because I am a plant-based person.

Erin Banks:
[46:05] Good for you I try to be I’ve ordered like all those pretty those ready prepared meals are plant-based and then it’s funny after we eat them yet and it’s like hey let’s have some cheese and crackers.
I don’t think this is supposed to supposed to word.
Returning the box so what piece of technology is making life worse right now in your world.

Ziad Mehio:
[46:27] That’s a great question.
Probably from a cybersecurity perspective I would say the ever-evolving credit card cell phone pay Apple pay in trying to keep.
Keep it safe that would be number 1 challenge today.

Erin Banks:
[46:55] Good to know Denise you have a computer you want to pass on that one you all get like one pass against new rule.

Ziad Mehio:
[47:02] No I was just saying because we’ve become so dependent on technology Anything Goes Down.
We basically become useless so just even like any network goes down anything and.
I cuz I am I don’t have paper in my office I literally just have my screens in my computers and so.
It figured out I’m just going to go home guys I literally can’t do anything.

Erin Banks:
[47:36] Yeah it’s so funny as you’re like right I’m like I’m looking at my 10 Post-it notes that I have all over.
Definitely a paper person I can’t even read them but,
this is so funny it is interesting how one that’s like so technology-focused and and not and what impact it has on your life absolutely I’m so what is your biggest Money Pit right now.

Brett Roberts:
[47:57] Yeah what you’re like personal money did like what he’s spending all the money on right now.

Ziad Mehio:
[48:02] Personal.
I’m a minimalist so I don’t buy a lot of stuff but I am about to build a house in Hawaii and I feel like that’s going to be a lot.
She has no children so I have can I have no children so I have two children and I think that’s what’s my money pit right now.

Erin Banks:
[48:27] Denise is like the person that I want to be that’s all I have to say I’m.
Is right now and I want to be a plant-based person I want to not write on paper I want have a house in Hawaii,
good to know I so on that note are you going anywhere interesting soon that’s not Hawaii.

Ziad Mehio:
[48:46] I’m going to Lisbon at the beginning of April.

Erin Banks:
[48:49] Oh my God I’m just I’m planning a trip to Lisbon we’re going to do more in June July that’s interesting so you’ll have to share some pointers have to tell me what you’re what you’re planning on how that’s working out.

Ziad Mehio:
[48:59] Yeah I’ll let you know how it goes into Portuguese I’ve been to lots of places in Europe but we thought I needed somewhere relatively warm after all the snow we back.

Erin Banks:
[49:11] Yeah I bet yeah that’s great okay we’ll have to talk about that cool.

Brett Roberts:
[49:16] Yes so we spend time talking about food say so what’s the what’s your favorite food at the arena what are you what are you guys like to eat when you go to a hockey game or a gaming particular.

Ziad Mehio:
[49:27] You got to go for a.
A burger we have a prime rib Burger it’s my go-to for sure.
Impossible Burger which is a d best vegan burger but right now I can only just eat tater tots.

Erin Banks:
[49:47] It’s interesting that no I mean there’s only so many different like food allergies or food kind of plans right there’s like like the Paleo there’s a I know there’s like.
The 30 program or something there’s like so many new food things out that do you guys relay that or kind of add that or think about that it when you look at your menus I mean for Denise or plant-based you’re eating tater tots but.

Ziad Mehio:
[50:14] It’s funny like you know all about.
Total food Revenue it’s really made up we have cool.
200 items on the menu but the top 10 make up over 95% of the menu of the Revenue Service sir even though we we do try a bunch of stuff we bringing a bunch of stuff.
It’s crazy like the beer the popcorn the hot dogs the burgers.
Make up majority of a cell’s no matter what you do but,
we do try and K2 as much as we can to the gluten-free folks to some vegetarian folks.

Erin Banks:
[51:01] That’s awesome so one last question for this rapid fire so what show are you currently binging on.

Ziad Mehio:
[51:08] I’m inching on Death in Paradise it’s a British detective show based in Guadalupe one of the French island and it’s just.
Fun little cop show and I’m watching season 1 of Westworld stuck on that one.

Brett Roberts:
[51:32] That’s a good chef.

Erin Banks:
[51:34] I haven’t seen either of them to my posted that are on my.
On my desk I’ll get to the right away so I can thank you all so much for a joining this great session again I’m so happy finally the other were able to pull this together it was snowing here when I last saw you.
We were in Boston at the time but just so great that were able to pull together I just love this story I can’t wait to really share it with everyone out there and just show how everyone just dealing with data and there won’t be any issues at the running into it and how they’re solving them and I think it’s important for people to get a greater understanding so thank you both Denise and Ziad for joining us at Broad and I on the big gate of beer podcast.

Ziad Mehio:
[52:14] You’re welcome.