Ubisoft: Creating a Collaboration-Driven Data Team

By using Dataiku, Ubisoft was able to foster collaboration between business analysts and data scientists — as well as between the data team and lines of business — in order to upscale its analytics arm and ultimately, make more accurate predictions regarding user behavior and the market as a whole.

As the third largest video game company in the world, Ubisoft leverages AI, machine learning, and data science to increase its competitiveness amidst a highly saturated media and entertainment landscape as well as extract true business value from its data initiatives. 

Ubisoft’s Consumer and Market Knowledge (CMK) department is in charge of market research, providing player and market insights across the company in order to improve the overall quality of games and effectively respond to the emerging player demands. The CMK team is comprised of around 50 collaborators, among which 10 are data scientists and 30 are analysts. 

The CMK department works with three different entities within the company — they provide studios with insights for game development, help upper management navigate the constantly changing trends in the gaming space and define their strategic vision, and enable business people to find the right audience for each game. 

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Data Science Team Structure

Ubisoft Infographic Data Team Structure

Ubisoft’s Key Challenges

  • Rapidly changing user profiles and expectations 
  • Many different styles and ways of playing one single game, different motivations (individual missions, overall story development, customization, social aspect, etc.)
  • Data viability and complexity: sometimes, there is contradiction between the behavioral/telemetry data and the declarative data 
  • Lack of standardization in methods and tools used by various profiles 
  • Need to democratize access to data and facilitate self-service analytics 

The Mission

The CMK department’s mission is fully aligned with Ubisoft’s — enrich the lives of video gamers. In order to do that, though, it’s crucial to know them well, as well as the market and the environment in which they evolve. 

The team’s main goals are as follows:

  • Understand all the fine undertones of gamers’ behaviors and needs and generate insights for product and marketing groups 
  • Leverage the potential of telemetry data not only for product optimization, but also for marketing and business purposes 
  • Elevate analysts’ specialized knowledge in consumer profiles by empowering them to use data science tools
Dataiku is the ultimate collaborative data science tool. It gives analysts autonomy, while also offering data scientists enough freedom to explore. Vincent Nicolas Data Scientist Manager, Ubisoft

The Solution 

Embarking the CMK analysts into the world of data wasn’t a turnkey mission, but with a consistent and comprehensive step-by-step approach, the CMK department was able to successfully scale a diverse collaboration-driven data team and implement a powerful data-driven market research strategy. 

Ubisoft Infographic Data Team Evolution

The Results 

Thanks to Dataiku, Ubisoft was able to: 

  • Upscale analytics efforts, granting access to data and analytics to non-coders 
  • Facilitate collaboration between business analysts and data scientists as well as between the data team and lines of business 
  • Build sales and competitor prediction models 
  • Perform cross-comparative analysis of player behavior and market knowledge to predict consumer trends and generate actionable business insights
Due to Dataiku’s easy to use point-and-click interface which empowers analysts to easily connect to data and collaborate on data projects, a real curiosity and data-driven mindset emerged across the whole department. Vincent Nicolas Data Scientist Manager, Ubisoft

Dataiku played a pivotal role in facilitating and encouraging collaboration between the data science and analyst teams and giving the entire department access to various data sources such as Teradata and Hadoop cluster. Dataiku has been an accelerator for the realization of the projects and the transformation of Ubisoft’s CMK team. This transformation implies an evolution of the organization, of the collaboration between the teams, and a positive cultural shift around data that is felt across the company.

Dataiku listens to us and understands our needs the way we like to think that we listen and try to understand our players. Vincent Nicolas Data Scientist Manager, Ubisoft

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