05 Feb 2021

Talking Point: Insights from an Industry Expert

by Exacta Team

iGaming is not a one-glove fits all industry. Different companies require and offer varying services, which is why getting a head start in the sector may not always be an easy feat.

Moreover, companies with a large talent pool to choose from, as is often the case with iGaming firms, can afford to demand years of experience when selecting their ideal and most fitting candidate, which for those aspiring to break into the industry, can prove to be the hardest quality to obtain.

Experience and Expertise

Experience, however, is not something that our industry expert, Tim*, is privy to. Kick-starting his career in 2005 in Vancouver, he has worked with most of the major players in the industry, including the likes of Mr Green.

With business intelligence (BI) and business analytics as his area of expertise, his specialisms are multiple, including BI software, python programming, descriptive analytics as well as modelling and predictive analytics.

2020 was undoubtedly a major, world-altering year for everyone, but while several struggled to make ends meet, it was a year full of lucrative opportunity just waiting to be snatched for those who sought it.

As a relatively novel field of study, machine learning is useful across a number of different spectrums, from cybersecurity to public safety, making improvements in the medical field as well as enhancing customer service and the safety of automobiles.

About a year ago, just as the world as we know it was being introduced to a virus that would shake it to its very core, Tim decided to dive into machine learning, building machine learning models within the iGaming industry that would use predictive modelling to forecast who would become a gambler. He also explored churn modelling which, holding a 72% accuracy rate, could predict who would come into play and who would leave. But Tim’s ambitious endeavours did not stop there: “it’s always good to have 90%,” he comments.

Tim is currently working on a monetisation model, also holding experience in conversion optimisation, A/B testing, statistical testing, and analytics. One of his true passions also lies in teamwork however, or rather, his ability to build teams from the ground up – which is precisely the trail of success he left behind at his previous jobs – heading both a conversion team and more recently, a BI team.

There’s no ‘I’ in Team

So why is teamwork so important? Our industry expert believes that productivity is built on three foundations:

1. The tools/software used
2. The people who use it
3. The processes employed

– take one out, and all productivity is lost. A network can only function and grow resiliently if it has all three fundamentals. Choosing the right people, therefore, is paramount to building a strong network.

Drawing from experience, Tim believes that when hiring, one should always look for the two A’s:
• Attitude
• Aptitude

Attitude warrants the smooth running of a business, whilst aptitude invites a willingness to learn – a gift which is not as common as one might think amongst most candidates.

Aptitude allows for a candidate to fit into any and every environment – no matter how chaotic the company may be. Tim firmly believes that the more chaotic the company, the better – it invites the opportunity to employ new and fresh business processes. As he puts it, “there is always opportunity in chaos.” Something about being thrown off the deep end rewards further knowledge, with the employee’s true capabilities being brought to light. In fact, Tim recalls how at his previous place of employment, he was not granted access to the database for the first 6 months, but only reports and analytics. Nonetheless, Tim persisted, marched forward, and got the job done.

Our industry expert also believes there are two parts to any job: firstly, one must deliver. Secondly, it is vital to go one step further and physically sit with the teams: be it marketing, customer service, or operations teams. Very often, many will look at reports and not know how to apply them or what to do with the information they are handed. Tim’s experience has allowed for a challenge – not only will he deliver, but he will involve himself in the action. The latter is proof of contribution towards the company’s overall success – and this is shown via campaigns. Taking conversion as an example, following up is crucial. Since conversion is all about converting players, making sure someone is there to follow up and take action will guarantee that satisfactory results are produced.

Tim is adamant that the ‘action’ part of the job is the most exciting – “working on the frontlines” – this is only brought about via collaboration with teams. Delivery is the roadwork, but the action is the final goal. Being aware of his limits, knowing when not to tip over the edge, is an instinct or ‘gut feeling’, as he refers to it, which he has only gained through experience. The ability to sit in a meeting and know what and what not to say and do is knowledge which is only acquired through years of experience working within teams and networks and being knowledgeable about the processes that are at the core of those networks. Building businesses processes, whether in your own team or within multiple teams, is the secret to maintaining high productivity levels.

Networking is key, and the gambling industry in Malta offers just that: numerous networks and opportunities to forge meaningful connections – which is precisely why Tim has no plans to leave the island anytime soon. Moreover, the country’s strategic geographical location has proved to be lucrative for business. Malta was the first member of the EU to regulate remote gaming and is host to a highly trusted and respected licensing body, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). One cannot also forget the beautiful beaches and long sunny days, which make the island a haven for anyone looking to build a business at the centre of a burgeoning industry.

 

* A pseudonym has been used for the purpose of anonymity throughout the article.


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