Cinema tickets, popcorn and soft drink purchases, presales on the hottest films... These are just some of the areas into which Pathé would like to get better insights from its data. To achieve this, the largest cinema chain in the Netherlands has been collaborating closely with E-mergo to build a data warehouse using the TimeXtender data management platform along with the Business Intelligence tool, Qlik Sense. An additional challenge for the project was that both the old and new cash register systems had to be linked up. And the whole project obviously had to be carried out without disrupting the cinemagoer’s experience in any way.
Rick Stammes has been a data analyst at Pathé since 2017. Together with a large team, he had been engaged for some time on an ambitious data strategy. “Working with external consultants and data scientists, we had already made considerable progress on predicting visitor numbers and making relevant recommendations to cinemagoers. The sky was the limit! But then came Corona.” Cinemas fell empty, revenue dried up and the external team had to stop the project. “At that point, my role changed,” explains Rick. “We didn’t want the knowledge we’d acquired to go to waste and decided to implement the data strategy with a small team. We quickly came up with the idea of creating a data warehouse. E-mergo’s TimeXtender appealed to us because you don’t need lots of technical knowledge to work with it: you don’t have to make code yourself but can simply drag-and-drop tables and specify the relationship between different data.”
“Lennaert is not only technically highly skilled, he also now understands a lot about our business. So he can see why certain data might be of particular interest to us, and what we could do with it. So I’m very happy with our decision to work with E-mergo”
Rick Stammes, Data Analist
New cash register system
Pathé also wanted to be able to present reports more clearly in a Business Intelligence (BI) tool. E-mergo suggested using TimeXtender in combination with the BI tool Qlik Sense, which was duly added on in June 2020. “The most complex part of this project was gathering and transforming the data,” says Rick. “Added to which, we had just switched to a new cash register system, so had two systems running concurrently.” “Pathé didn’t switch from the old Dolphin ticket system to the new Vista system in one go,” explains E-mergo consultant, Lennaert van den Brink. “So it was important to link up the two different source systems in order to have an integrated overview. As well as getting insights into visitor numbers and for marketing purposes, the data is also used for the All Stars app, which allows Pathé visitors to redeem loyalty points for food and drink.”
This last element requires near-real-time speed, as visitors will want to be able to use their points in the Pathé shop immediately after buying their ticket. With TimeXtender, this can be done in a matter of minutes. “If the cinemas had been operating as normal,” says Lennaert, “you’d be talking about 100,000 lines of data per hour. In that sense, it was a lucky break that we could make the switch to this new system during a quiet period. In January 2022, Pathé wants to switch over completely to Vista. At which point, TimeXtender will just continue to do its job, without the transition being felt in any way by users.”
Benefits of an intuitive system
The data warehouse is still under construction. “We’ve spent a lot of time making the data-flows work,” says Rick, “and we can now work with the most important information, such as visitors and what they buy. Lennaert is still with us one day a week, but just to coach people; the rest of the construction we’re doing ourselves. There are loads of other great analyses we can run. For example, when people buy popcorn, what drink do they most commonly buy with it? We also process data from our customer service colleagues, on FAQs or specific questions, such as how far in advance people would like to be able to order tickets on the website.”
“We quickly came up with the idea of creating a data warehouse. E-mergo’s TimeXtender appealed to us because you don’t need lots of technical knowledge to work with it: you don’t have to make code yourself but can simply drag-and-drop tables and specify the relationship between different data.”
Rick Stammes, Data Analist
“We wanted to set up TimeXtender in such a way that the data specialists at Pathé can develop and maintain it themselves,” adds Lennaert. “Even people who until recently had no experience with it are now developing dashboards in Qlik Sense for themselves, for example, to monitor pre-sales. I love seeing how quickly people can pick it up. For me, it also demonstrates the real power of TimeXtender: it’s an intuitive system. Combined with Pathé’s deep content knowledge of the data, it means that together we’ve managed to create something really special.” Rick, too, found the collaboration E-mergo a very positive experience. “Lennaert is not only technically highly skilled, he also now understands a lot about our business. So he can see why certain data might be of particular interest to us, and what we could do with it. So I’m very happy with our decision to work with E-mergo.”
Company name Pathé
- Transitioning from cash register system Dolphin to the new system Vista
- Lack of clear reports. Solution
- Data management platform TimeXtender
- Qlik Sense dashboards.
- Data from the two cash register systems is handled in a central spot in TimeXtender. This way no one notices the transition to another system.
- TimeXtender sends near- realtime data to Pathé’s All Stars app for customers. This ensures all earned loyalty points are awarded to the customers.
- Customer service data is used in order to gain insight into frequently asked questions.
- Pathé’s data specialists are able to further expand and maintain TimeXtender due to training and coaching provided by E-mergo.
The name E-mergo is derived from the Latin proverb ‘Luctor et emergo’ (I struggle and emerge). In Zeeland this signifies winning the battle against water. Obviously, we do not battle water, but we do make sure that companies keep their heads above water in the growing stream of data. Working from the motto ‘Manage your data, innovate your business’ we help you to get the most out of your data.
We do this using software from Qlik, Microsoft, Mendix and TimeXtender, for which we provide software, training, consultancy and support. Together we will help your company to create new business models and to reduce costs.