Adler Planetarium Uses Attendance Data to Visualize and Enhance Visitor Experience

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Data Science


As America’s first planetarium, the Adler Planetarium is one of Chicago’s premier cultural institutions. With exhibits, collections and shows that inspire and educate explorers of all ages, the Adler continually seeks new ways to better excite and engage its guests.

Adler was looking to be bold. With a vast amount of information about museum attendees, Adler began a project developing analytics on the most popular exhibits, the most well-attended shows, and guest utilization of various museum services.

Adler enlisted the help of Chicago-based Inquidia Consulting, a leading data engineering and data science firm to select and build an advanced data management and visualization platform—one that would reveal new insights to optimize Adler’s operations while improving guest experience.

Using data integration technology from Pentaho, and visualization technology from Tableau Software, Inquidia created a new ticketing and group sales analytic database as a platform for advanced analytics dashboards. The system empowers Adler analysts to explore and create their own custom visualizations. Now, Adler analysts can immediately visualize and rapidly respond to guest trends.

The project we did with Inquidia set us on a path to understand our data in ways we’ve never been able to do before.” said Laurie B. Squire, Director of Guest & Member Services at Adler Planetarium. “Inquidia’s can-do attitude and undaunted problem-solving helped motivate the Adler team and set the tone for this project. Their thoroughness and attention to detail was stellar.”

Adler’s system combines raw attendance data with advanced graphics to show guest patterns, trends, and correlations without complex data programming. For example, Adler analysts can now see visualizations of daily traffic flow within the museum and determine which sky shows and presentations reached capacity.

We’re honored and proud to help the Adler build their data-driven future,” said David Reinke, Senior Partner at Inquidia Consulting. “As an organization that advocates science-based thinking and solutions, we’re looking forward to the exciting, results-oriented innovations that the Adler will reveal with this platform.”

To find out more about the project, read the full case study here.

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