To that end, gaming stakeholders can benefit from inviting all teams to the business-planning table. That includes finance, in its enhanced role, which must be aligned with the organization's goals and strategies.
From a market standpoint, both the enterprise and specific business units need to engage with finance in the forecasting process. This allows organizations to correlate and strategically align their ongoing business drivers with their existing financial data to predict future financial implications.
Proper forecasting also requires the right tools. For example, investing in data-collection platforms to gauge player habits is critical to identifying emerging trends. Equally relevant, tracking global gaming movements through social media is key to equipping finance teams with the insights and data to create actionable forecasts.
A global trend
In KPMG's recent global CFO survey, 37 per cent of high-performing companies (e.g., those with over 10 per cent growth in revenue and EBITDA over the past three years) plan to invest in decision support tools, and 30 per cent plan to invest in decision support capabilities, skills, and methods.
Steps to achieving more reliable forecasting
Encourage a “buy-in” from all levels
Build momentum around the need for more reliable forecasting by helping to ensure everyone from the top c-suite executives to the gaming floor managers are engaged in the planning process.
Secure forecasting investment capital
Invest in decision support and organization-wide forecasting tools. Shop around to find what works for your gaming entity or business.
Fine-tune your process
Strive to ensure you define the value drivers that matter to your organization, and input the right level of detail to accurately drive decisions.
Identify who owns the forecasting process
Value is only gained if someone is actively responsible for making forecast-based decisions. Unless an executive team uses the forecasts and evaluates its people based on the forecasts, it becomes little more than a finance exercise.
Define your KPIs
The gaming industry is diverse, and different KPIs matter to different stakeholders. Avoid becoming overwhelmed by identifying the benchmarks that matter to you.
No matter the method, the industry is primed with “Big Data” for the taking. Investing in the ability to capture that data, and use it effectively, is therefore critical to making sustainable business decisions that not only reflect what's been, but what's around the corner.