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Disney World Parks and Resorts mines magic from business analytics

Hamish Barwick | Nov. 29, 2012
Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts in Orlando in the United States is using business analytics to increase repeat business from families for visit the hotel and theme park.

"That's a magical moment and for that to take place, we needed the right cast member appearing with the right training to handle that situation," Gorricho said.

Workforce management

Business analytics also helps Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts management handle staff workforce numbers. The US division employs 80,000 workers, or cast members as the company likes to call employees, with 240,000 shifts scheduled each week.

"Once we forecast the workload for the week, we need to work out if we have the supply of people to fulfill that demand," he said. "If we don't have that supply [of workers], we need to understand how many we should hire and what skills/experience they need to have."

To do this, the company uses workflow forecasting under a project called Workload Analytics for Labour Locations Everywhere or WALL-E for short, named after the CGI robot from the 2008 Pixar movie of the same name.

"The process [with WALL-E] is that we look at business drivers. For example, we look at park attendance levels, how many hotel rooms have been booked and what the weather in Orlando is going to be like as it is quite changeable." According to Gorricho, the workflow forecasting system produces more than 50 million data points for the 10,000 park worker positions and informs management how many cast members the parks and resorts will need for the next six weeks.

IDG Communications is an official media partner for the Big Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence 2012 conference.

 

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