Focus on QCI: Casinos big and small benefit from QCI’s comprehensive, industry-leading solution

September 2, 2022 12:00 PM
Photo: Courtesy QCI
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports
September 2, 2022 12:00 PM
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports

Quick Custom Intelligence has quickly earned its place as the market leader in business intelligence for the gaming industry by having the most advanced products and now holding the largest market share, according to QCI’s Executive Chairman, David Farahi. Aligning player development, marketing, and gaming optimization, the QCI Platform enables enterprise-wide real-time data empowerment that has dramatically increased the productivity and profitability of its users, making their work easier and more efficient.

Farahi left his former position as COO of Monarch Casino & Resort a year ago to become an advisory board member and the sole investor of QCI before taking on his new role as Executive Chairman two months ago.

“What QCI has been able to do is really establish itself as the most mature industry-leading solution,” he said, adding, “In the early days of the technology, there weren’t a lot of resorts that used analytics, and many didn’t know that such software even existed. Today, most casinos either have a solution or are looking for a solution and turning to QCI.”

“There are other software solutions that have bits and pieces of what QCI can do, but nobody has the comprehensive functionality that QCI has,” Farahi said. “It’s the leading software for gaming floor optimization where, in just one example, our tool has the industry’s first slot tool, providing market basket analysis with QCI Slots. We also have the leading customer relationship management tool, providing actionable insights for users to provide deeply personalized guest experiences with QCI Host. Again, we have the leading marketing campaign management, customer segmentation, and analytics tool powered by the industry’s most advanced predictive algorithms with QCI Marketing.”

Each of the QCI modules has an industry-leading position. Still, Farahi explains that what’s most powerful is when a property puts all three of those tools together to make the benefits become exponential. The QCI Platform enables entire teams across all departments to run the business based on “one version of the truth” because QCI deploys a data lake that brings in data from the multitude of data sources and systems a casino has. The QCI data lake acts as a golden record database to realize the full potential of all three QCI modules. Unlike others, QCI also makes its data lake available for business users to query against in whatever way they would like.

“Every one of our users is looking at the same version of the truth as their colleagues, and I can tell you as an operator, that’s not always the case at a property,” Farahi said. “The data gets a little jumbled, the slot guys aren’t always seeing the same thing as the marketing guys, and that causes problems.”

The QCI Enterprise edition is about having all of these tools and being able to leverage them as one complete solution. Farahi said that there are support components beneath to make it easy. And if you are in QCI Host and want to look up a guest, he added, you can click to make a call or send an email; those easy-to-use features help their customers make money faster.

“A lot of casinos spend so much time and money on direct mail pieces and promotions but don’t have great tools to understand which parts of the marketing and promotion programs are actually driving incremental profit,” Farahi explained. “There’s an old adage that you know half of your marketing dollars aren’t working, but you just don’t know which half-that’s what QCI Marketing can assist operators with. QCI Marketing will help you understand what’s working and what is not working to drive incremental profit; what expenses are layered, and what expenses are truly worthwhile.”

While each of the three core products comprising the QCI Platform are industry leaders, QCI’s latest operational tool, QCI Loyalty, uses QR-codes to detach loyalty from operational systems and utilizes data science to create the industry’s first 100% cardless player tracking system. Farahi says that since there is no need for player’s cards, you don’t have to have the expensive infrastructure to deploy and maintain; kiosks, card printers and card readers can go away because QCI Loyalty takes advantage of QR-code technology and the player’s own hardware, their cell phone, to provide the benefits of a fully-integrated system with a fraction of the hardware infrastructure.

QCI is also proud of its speed of execution and installation. As an operator, Farahi disclosed that he had previously been sold on software only later to find out it was vaporware, stating, “It does all of these fancy things in a G2E booth, but it takes months to deploy, and all of the functionalities they showed me were not actually there. That’s not how we do business at QCI. QCI has developed an entire simulated casino that is fully equipped with real-time gaming and hotel data, so potential customers can test drive the real product to see how fast and versatile it can be. We’ve spent a tremendous amount of time improving our installation process to make it easier, smoother and to ensure that data validation happens quickly. We also lead the industry with the shortest deployment time. Our software is designed to be stood up and functioning quickly, so our casino operator partners see the benefits fast!”

Farahi commented on the success QCI has had over the last 18 months, contracting 75 casino resorts from the Las Vegas Strip, throughout North America and abroad. “Another aspect of our maturity as a company is demonstrated by our ability to execute for some of the largest, most sophisticated gaming and integrated resort operators in the world all the way to slot route operators with a handful of gaming machines at each site spread across thousands of locations, and every operator in between,” he said.

He believes the reason QCI is successful is because a lot of focus is on the back-end infrastructure. Any company can create vaporware and make something look pretty in a booth, he noted, but it’s the engine, data lake and product architecture that’s not easily visible to the user that makes QCI’s tools so robust and flexible.

“That’s where QCI has spent a tremendous amount of time,” Farahi said. “QCI is led by the two world-class thought leaders in the space, Dr. Ralph Thomas and Andrew Cardno, who architected, designed, and led the building of the whole platform, starting with that back end. Having learned plenty of lessons the hard way before, Dr. Thomas and Mr. Cardno made sure the team had invested enough time on the back-end to ensure the system had been built for maximum flexibility, customization, and robustness.”

Farahi called his expanded role at QCI a fun one and said that he enjoys collaborating with the entire team. This month, he also started as an adjunct professor at Metropolitan State University in Denver, teaching gaming management and operations. Part of that class is teaching analytics in the gaming industry and how to use data and tools in the casino environment.

Farahi has also been named to the Board of Directors at PlayAGS, the casino equipment manufacturer, and said, “It’s been a great transition going from the B-to-C part of the industry to the B-to-B part of the gaming industry.”