Foxwoods Taps System Connectivity Solution for Non-Gaming Data Insight

Foxwoods Resort Casino is using DataDirect Technologies' DataDirect Connect for ODBC database drivers within its hospitality systems' applications to connect business analytics data on UNIX to Windows-based data sources. With secure, reliable and stable access to heterogeneous data sources, Foxwoods has gained immediate visibility into the non-gaming activity of its guests to aid with marketing efforts, special events and promotions.

Like all casinos, Foxwoods had long been collecting data on the gaming interests of its patrons. However, the resort lacked information about the non-gaming activity of its more than 40,000 daily guests. With nearly 30 retail outlets, more than 20 restaurants, 25 conference rooms and two golf courses, Foxwoods was looking to improve its understanding of how to serve the needs and desires of patrons by capturing data on the leisurely pursuits of its guest. Hotel stays, shows and entertainment, dining, visits to the spa and salon, etc., would be collected and analyzed to determine how or whether that data correlated with gaming behavior. With a UNIX platform using SAS business analytics software and a Netezza data warehouse platform, the Hospitality Systems Department at Foxwoods realized a future need for accessing data in Microsoft SQL Server where retail sales, food and beverage and other valuable, non-gaming data is stored.

"The SAS platform provided connectivity to Netezza and other UNIX databases but we lacked an ODBC driver to connect from SAS to the Window-based data sources," says Bonnie Laudig, senior database administration for the hospitality systems group at Foxwoods. "Our research showed DataDirect Technologies had an outstanding reputation for connectivity software, proven technologies and was SAS certified. On the strength of these merits and the recommendation of SAS, we decided to implement the DataDirect Connect for ODBC driver immediately with no evaluation. In no time, the DataDirect driver was in production and we were able to access new data sources with ease."

Time saver
DataDirect Connect for ODBC is a comprehensive suite of ODBC drivers for all major databases. Using a unique wire protocol design, DataDirect Connect for ODBC drivers eliminate the need for database client-library software. By removing the client layer, time consuming and complicated deployment issues related to installing and maintaining different versions of the client software for different databases, database versions and operating systems are eliminated.  Only one DataDirect driver is needed to support multiple database versions. 

"We were very concerned that different flavors of SQL Server or different service packs on the machines would cause connectivity and performance issues," says Mike Kutia, director of hospitality systems at Foxwoods Resort Casino.  "It was a pleasant surprise to ask for a connection to a given SQL Server data source, and in a very short time I'm up and running looking at the database."

The Hospitality Systems team at Foxwoods is so pleased with the results of the UNIX to SQL Server connectivity achieved by using the DataDirect Connect for ODBC driver they plan to extend SQL Server-based data warehousing and BI capabilities into areas not previously envisioned including ticketing data and slot-machine usage.
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