“Snowflake simplifies complex gaming data to empower gaming companies”

Big data analysis is one of the most accessible and most impactful tools the gaming industry can discover to market games through better audience segmentation, improve player retention, and much more. Globally-renowned Snowflake is one such data cloud and analytics platform that empowers gaming companies to optimise and personalise the complete gaming experience by overcoming scattered data and harnessing insights securely. Vimal Venkatram, Country Head, Snowflake India, in a conversation with Ramesh Kumar Raja, discusses how gaming companies need to securely and effectively leverage data, to capitalise on the market opportunities and meet the challenges. Excerpts:

How can gaming companies leverage data analytics to meet the demands of the growing gaming industry in India?

In India, the gaming industry is revving up, as consumers are increasingly spending their additional leisure time on mobile video games, followed by PC and console gaming. According to a co-contributed report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), India is the largest mobile gaming market by the number of app downloads, contributing up to 12% of the world total. The country offers a massive opportunity for mobile gaming with a projected market valuation of $ 6-7 USD billion market by 2025.

The huge investment interest in this sector is supported by the growing ratio of paid users. This is creating a competitive momentum amidst gaming companies to excel and succeed rapidly. To achieve this, it is important for game developers to create games that are not just personalised to each player’s performance, behaviour, and preferences but also offer consistent design customisations of characters, rewards, game interface, and level complexity.

Effective data analysis can make all this possible and more. It offers a new direction to development strategy for gaming companies by empowering them with data-driven decisions. The centralised management of micro and macro data on a seamless platform brings a repertoire of possibilities, including a comprehensive view of audiences, smarter content, improved user experiences, rich sales and advertising revenue; all at one place.

How can the gaming industry capitalise on the market opportunities and meet the challenges with big data?

As gaming is blooming faster than ever before, it is critical to reaching the market with innovative offerings and new content rollout at lightning speed. This can be made possible by powerful big data solutions that enable integrated game data feeds and capabilities to handle large workloads concurrently. In this way, smart big data analysis equips gaming companies to gain ownership of their own data warehouses and dive deeper into the inflow of data, structure better, and create customised dashboards for customers. By harnessing this potential of data analytics, developers can significantly improve the overall gaming experience and simultaneously attract new customers.

Simply put, big data does the groundwork to analyse consumer behaviour and is really essential for digital gaming companies to tackle growing user requirements and to continue scaling. It helps to determine what game features garner interest for long-term players while addressing existing defects and bugs that lead to lost players. Effective analytical solutions dilute data silos by enabling faster, well-informed, and safe decision-making.

“Big data does the groundwork to analyse consumer behaviour and is really essential for digital gaming companies to tackle growing user requirements and to continue scaling. It helps to determine what game features garner interest for long-term players while addressing existing defects and bugs that lead to lost players”

How can big data be leveraged to optimise the gaming experience?

When companies query large data with no limitations on volumes and performance, they open avenues for predictive modeling to forecast player behaviour, and derive valued insights on gaming usability trends. This accessibility and awareness of data trends brought to the table by big data, effectively bridges gaps from data collection to insight analysis for data teams, as they carry out complicated analysis and monitor relevant user activities from the large pool of raw data.

Restriction-free access like this, enables improved data-sharing, faster up-gradation and ensures clear visibility of game performance and player interaction, resulting in an optimised gaming experience. Continued consumer insights give companies a bird’s eye view of player dynamics that leads to improved stimulation and motivation, and also enhanced multi-device access.

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Do you think the gaming industry is more vulnerable to data breaches? How can gaming companies leverage data effectively and securely?

There have been quite a few examples of damaging data leaks within the gaming segment, to learn from, in recent times. Although sharing data across internal and external channels for strategic development, collaboration and marketing campaigns are unavoidable for gaming companies to sustain and grow, it is important that they always place data security at the forefront. When exchanging confidential data every day to address concerns, improve games and provide functional support, companies must comply with privacy regulations, assess and govern all data flow on remote servers from a single, secure location.

A strategic data infrastructure designed to meet compliance requirements and allow secure data sharing builds user loyalty and attracts new consumers with zero management and full security. To protect sensitive data further, companies should enforce unified security protocols including authenticated identity management and hierarchical access control that necessitates full-proof verification and nullifies data risks.

How can gaming companies use data analytics for effective marketing and monetisation of gamers?

Advertisers are eyeing the Indian gaming sector, as the number of gamers per household is increasing by the day. According to a KPMG India analysis, India is home to the second-largest base of online casual gamers in the world with 420 million users. But to tap on this advertising opportunity, companies need to gauge player behaviour continuously and understand preferences to determine the best type of ads and the best time to offer them.

Ads or in-app purchase campaigns can get tricky and are bound to be successful only when based on a factual analysis of target markets across regions, purchasing power, and other demographic factors. Guess-work and random allocations can often lead to the immediate exit of players.

Companies must turn to established data infrastructures that aggregate the large scale of data sets and run new, performant technologies such as AI, augmented reality, and machine learning to localise marketing efforts and better position gaming content. In this way, advanced data analytics decodes customer interactions, creating unique and compelling gaming experiences for the type of consumers that companies want to attract, adding the much-needed muscle to monetising efforts of gaming companies.

What exactly you do and how effective are Snowflake solutions?

A globally-renowned data cloud and analytics platform, Snowflake empowers gaming companies to optimise and personalise the complete gaming experience by overcoming scattered data and harnessing insights securely. It offers data-empowered gaming solutions and data-warehousing services that are easy to use, tremendously scalable, and more cost-effective than traditional tools.

With Snowflake, gaming companies can leverage data to find essential insights and meet existing sourcing, analytical, and marketing challenges. By holistically accessing large volumes of data generated by downloads, visits, conversions, activations, interactions, and more, Snowflake simplifies complex gaming data. High user engagement and rigorous marketing efforts will lead to increased paid user conversions over time.

The platform’s data expertise combines incoming data feeds and dramatically reduces the time to process new data, eliminates failures and instability of legacy tools and explores granular data to create new features. Before they know it, gaming companies have shifted their focus from infrastructure maintenance to insightful analysis that eventually improve products, experiences, and profit growth.

“Snowflake empowers gaming companies to optimise and personalise the complete gaming experience by overcoming scattered data and harnessing insights securely. It offers data-empowered gaming solutions and data-warehousing services that are easy to use, tremendously scalable, and more cost-effective than traditional tools”

What’s your opinion about managing data privacy and security with data analytics?

With fierce competition among gaming companies, gamers are justifiably concerned about how companies are using and sharing their data. As data sets are completely migrating to the cloud, traditional traffic control perimeters are becoming harder to define. Today consumer data is priceless and companies must strive to protect this data both in transit and at rest.

The government’s flagship initiative, the ‘Digital India’ program enables improved focus on innovation and affordability and is expected to boost the required digital security infrastructure for the online gaming ecosystem. However, gaming companies themselves can prioritise present and future data security by enabling reliable enterprise controls and building a highly elastic infrastructure – one with faster data availability but also secured by an end-to-end security model encompassing identity, credentials, access management, and thorough endpoint checks for the interconnecting infrastructure.

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