Big Data Runs Wild at The Birmingham Zoo

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The Birmingham Zoo has tapped Data Science Firm, StrategyWise, to help it harness the power of data to predict customer attendance patterns. This will allow the Zoo to enhance visitor experiences and improve operations across the organization.

The Birmingham Zoo

When organizations begin to appreciate the untapped data they have in front of them, there are really countless possibilities of how those data can be combined, analyzed, and applied to improve customer satisfaction and overall organizational efficiency.

The Birmingham Zoo has partnered with StrategyWise, a Birmingham-based data science firm, to create advanced algorithms to predict visitor attendance patterns. StrategyWise is working with the Zoo’s Executive Director, Dr. William Foster, and his team to identify key drivers such as rainfall, temperatures, school calendars and holidays to create predictive formulas that will drive an executive dashboard to inform Zoo leadership.

“The Zoo is constantly looking for innovative ways to improve patrons’ experience, and I’ve been wanting to integrate more advanced data-driven approaches for quite some time,” says Dr. Foster. “Predicting attendance patterns was just the first opportunity for the Zoo to leverage the available data to operate more efficiently. It allows the Zoo to identify future attendance patterns before they occur, and to make real-time adjustments to the daily operations in order to meet our longer-term goals.”

By tapping into national weather data, local school and holiday calendars and a number of internal databases, StrategyWise has created formulas that will augment the Zoo’s previous methods of anticipating turnout and offer analytical insights. This will allow the team to make more informed marketing and operational decisions based on anticipated demand.

StrategyWise Managing Partner, Joshua Jones, says he’s excited because this project is just part of a global shift towards integration of data analytics and predictive algorithms. “When organizations begin to appreciate the untapped data they have in front of them, there are really countless possibilities of how those data can be combined, analyzed, and applied to improve customer satisfaction and overall organizational efficiency.”

Back at the Zoo, Dr. Foster is looking for more opportunities to tap big data to enhance visitors’ experience. “We’ve talked about everything from enhancing educational programs to using heat maps to identify underperforming exhibits. We’ve really just scratched the surface and are excited about the possibilities.”

About The Birmingham Zoo
The Birmingham Zoo is one of the state’s largest tourist attractions, and welcomes more than 574,000 people each year. Approximately 950 animals of 230 species call the Birmingham Zoo home, including sea lions, zebras, rhinos and endangered species from six continents. The Birmingham Zoo is open daily from 9am to 5pm. Regular admission is $15* for adults and $10* for senior citizens and children ages 2-12 (*Price not including tax). All Birmingham Zoo Members and children under two-years-old receive free admission.

About StrategyWise
Birmingham-based StrategyWise helps companies and governmental entities create value by capturing, analyzing, and applying data insights to drive policy formation, business process improvement, and game-changing innovations.

StrategyWise
Joshua Jones
888-623-3282 x101
marketing(at)strategywise(dot)com
http://www.strategywise.com

For more information about the Birmingham Zoo, please visit the Zoo on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter or at birminghamzoo.com.
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Joshua Jones
StrategyWise
+1 888-623-3282 Ext: 101
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since: 03/2014
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