The fact that businesses, love data, analytics, and anything that gives them control over a field set is no mystery. Interpretation removes the guesswork in making decisions that may then affect the next strategic direction the business is moving in. Without data, a business is resorting to educated guesswork at best, and often open conjecture at worst.
Many people in the business world may not be aware- games are a supreme data collection tool. In our first-party titles, we collect our player metadata, because it is how we improve the playability and thus the longterm sales of a game product. These categories that we collect are strictly metadata; what region the software is activated, how long a player spends in-game, what levels they play, how long they spend in them, what achievements the entire player base are activating etc. We are looking for trends, not personal data (those are kept by our vendors and merchant partners-Steam, PSN and more).
It’s probably no mystery that much of the software we use daily does much the same thing. But what many in the business world probably have yet to understand that is that utilising game-like techniques in their own systems can give them similar results. For this, I’m going to go back to the main reasons for gamification in the first place:
Acquisition: Suddenly the software looks more fun to use, so that breaks down a possible objection and barrier to getting the user to open up the app.
Retention: Because the software is more fun to use, and gives us the right little endorphin hits, or even cooler- oxytocin, we become more likely to keep using the software.
Cast your mind back to any given e-learning module that so many of us have had to complete for our induction and ongoing training. They’re usually spectacularly boring. They are also fundamentally data-collection tools for the people who own the license and the developers themselves. By implementing gamification- or game-like features, they become more fun and so we get better outcomes by achieving our objectives. This is why game-like apps get better results than dryer, more business-focussed ones in the same area.
And what’s more, we collect better data. Not only are we able to provide comparison points for new user acquisition and ongoing use, but because we are adding in those extra touch points of interaction with your user-base (E.G. the staff who have to do the induction, or the regular audience you’re selling to), we have more robust data that you can then make a stronger strategic decision to work with.
It turns out, fun has some pretty serious outcomes.