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Practical Data-Driven Management - Guest Column

There is much talk about data-driven management, and the concept is becoming somewhat clichéd. But is data really being utilized, or is it just talk? Can the right information be easily accessed in a digestible form without having to use multiple systems for even simple analyses?


At the Kuopio city sports facilities, we have been using KnowUrBiz for years to manage the operations of our swimming pools. It has facilitated visitor analysis, the planning of the Kuntolaakso swimming pool during its construction phase a few years ago, and cost analysis of the products offered to users. Knowing which group moves in our swimming pools at what time allows us to make decisions quickly, based on facts, without the parallel use of multiple systems.


With this information, we have developed, among other things, the extremely popular Liikkis wristband for under-20-year-olds in Kuopio. Since its introduction, the number of visits by individual users in this target group to our swimming pool services has increased approximately sevenfold compared to before. Of course, this can also be attributed to other aspects of our service design, but the initial impetus for the whole came from accurately collected and well-targeted easily accessible information.





The latest concrete example of practical solutions was related to the pricing of evening use at the Lippumäki swimming pool. Based on our staff's observations, we had been monitoring the number of visitors during the last hours of operation for a long time. The graphs of visitor numbers clearly showed a downward trend, which supported the staff's view. Our primary policy is always to increase visitor numbers rather than limit service hours, and this case was no exception. We decided to try reduced prices as a campaign, assuming that lower prices would significantly increase visitor numbers.


The result was clear. This time, there was no success story like the Liikkis wristband, and visitor numbers in the target group remained virtually unchanged. The lower prices were, of course, appreciated by the customers already using the services, but the desired change did not occur. At the end of the trial, the summary was clear, and the discount campaign lasted only a few months instead of becoming a permanent practice.


Starting with a cliché, it's good to end with one. Time is money, and there never seems to be enough of it in today's hectic work world. When the necessary information is available quickly, making analyses is fast and effortless. Whatever the outcome, the chances of making the right decisions are much better when driven by data.

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