A new analytics landscape drives smarter decisions at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

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Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium (PDZA) is the only combined zoo and aquarium in the Pacific Northwest. With just 80 full-time employees, the zoo is one of the top tourist destinations in Pierce County, Washington, attracting more than 600,000 visitors a year.

Every day, customer visits generate millions of data points providing rich detail on exhibits, special event preferences and operational issues that may need addressed. Additionally, social media channels, such as Facebook and twitter, providing customer experience feedback from visitor likes and dislikes. PDZA wanted to continue to improve the customer experience and optimize operational efficiency. A partnership with IBM Business Partner, BrightStar Partners, yielded a new analytics landscape, creating the ability to recognize problems and respond rapidly to maintain a high level of customer service.

Learn how IBM Business Partner, BrightStar Partners, and PDZA leveraged IBM Business Analytics to:
  • Experience a 700% increase in online sales over the past two years
  • Uncover patterns and trends in data to forecast ticket sales more accurately than ever before
  • Allow for more effective labor planning based on attendance to enhance visitor experiences
  • Better target visitor segments for zoo promotions


John Lucas
Director of Solutions Delivery
BrightStar Partners Inc.
Donna Powell
Business & Administrative
Services Manager
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park

Catherine Frye
Solutions Manager,
Business Analytics for Marketing

Heather Clancy

Award-winning Business Journalist