Sky Bet Boosts Customer Experience With Cloudera

One of Britain’s biggest online bookmakers has chosen Cloudera to help it dish out real-time rewards to customers in the hope of pulling ahead in the online gaming marketplace.

Sky Bet, the betting and gaming division of Sky, hopes that through using Cloudera Enterprise, its 500,000 weekly customers can benefit from faster money-back promotions and more personalised gambler experiences.

Sky Bet, which is 80 percent owned by CVC Capital Partners, initially shared an enterprise data warehouse with its parent company, but has now replaced it with a Hadoop environment using Cloudera Enterprise. Cloudera Enterprise is the company’s very own data management and analytics platform, built on Apache Hadoop.

Legacy EDW

Sky Bet was looking for a data pipeline that could better support real-time calculations along with added scalability and performance. With its legacy enterprise data warehouse (EDW), the company said it had to wait until midnight each day to process customer data. But with Cloudera, Sky Bet said it has been able to reduce the time to ingest, process, and analyse data, implementing real-time processing and machine learning along the way.

“In terms of the opportunities it’s provided us with, we’ve already seen some significant improvements in three areas: analytics, front-end differentiation of personalisation, and fulfilment speeds of promotions,” Ted Moss, sports betting director at Sky Bet, told TechWeekEurope.

“We were using our own warehouse before, which hampered us in all those three areas just mentioned. It’s been a huge breath of fresh air having Cloudera in close. The processing power is completely transformed.”


Sky Bet, like many of its rivals, offers ‘no-lose’ promotions that increase revenue through customer reinvestment. Even if a customer’s original bet doesn’t win, they can still receive payouts. Sky Bet said that it found some customers could become frustrated and confused because they had to wait a day to receive their reward.

“This is probably one area of differentiation compared to our competitors that will be hugely revenue generating. If you’ve got an offer on a particular bet in our industry, waiting minutes or even hours for that offer to be fulfilled reduces the amount of reinvestment you see,” explained Moss.

“What we have the potential for here is instant fulfilment and then reinvestment straight away which is massive. And obviously from a customer experience point of view, it’s what people expect really.”

Moss claimed that Sky Bet, through using Cloudera, is down to single digit minutes for handing out its fulfilments, and will soon be able to offer them instantaneously.

“We’re comfortable we will get there, and obviously you couple that with instant messaging models running on a cluster in real-time and you’ve got the perfect combination of delivering relevant messages exactly at the right time and experience with instant fulfilment,” Moss said.

“And we’re really pleased because with a lot of this stuff people talk a good game, but we’re probably three or four months away delivering that experience.

“The journey that we were on, we were in hours on our platform, and we’re now down to single digit minutes, and we’re not far away now from instantaneous fulfilment.”

Digital estate

As for the near future, Moss said that Sky Bet’s entire IT operations have been transformed by Cloudera, which will lead to a more innovative approach to online gaming.

“We’re going to use our digital real estate much more effectively, because we’re going to be putting the right things with the right people, which give us the biggest return. We’re going to be personalising the site for people so it will be easier and quicker to get what they want. And it goes back to the fulfilment part again.

“At the moment across the bookmaking fraternity, it isn’t like that. It should be.”

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Ben Sullivan

Ben covers web and technology giants such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft and their impact on the cloud computing industry, whilst also writing about data centre players and their increasing importance in Europe. He also covers future technologies such as drones, aerospace, science, and the effect of technology on the environment.

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