Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Making the right decisions – whatever the weather

Published on 13 May 2013

Our work with IBM and BrightStar shows the potential of analytics technologies for public sector organizations to reduce costs and increase efficiencies, not only in our specific area, but across the whole of government.

Donna Powell, Business & Administrative Services Manager - Zoological & Environmental Education Division, Metro Parks Tacoma

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Media & Entertainment

Deployment country
United States

Avnet Services


Like all open-air attractions, zoos live and die by the weather. When sunny days alternate with rainy ones and daily attendance can fluctuate wildly, how can zoos avoid the dangers of over- or under-staffing – and the potentially serious consequences for cost-efficiency and customer service?

Business need
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium (PDZA) – part of Point Defiance Park, the largest attraction in Pierce County, Washington – wanted to counteract the uncertainties of the weather by gaining a better understanding of its effects on ticket sales and visitor numbers. With this new insight, the Zoo hoped to be able to manage all aspects of its business more efficiently.

Working with BrightStar Partners, an Avnet Services company, and IBM, the PDZA team has developed a new analytics solution that combines real-time weather data with ticket sales and attendance information to help forecast visitor numbers much more accurately than ever before.

Predicts visitor numbers with much greater accuracy, guiding more effective labor planning and optimizing both customer service and operational efficiency. Delivers data on demand to marketing teams, enabling faster execution of promotions and campaigns.


IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Cognos Business Intelligence

BA - Business Analytics, BA - Business Intelligence, BA - Predictive Analytics, IBM Analytics, Business Integration, Business Performance Transformation, Enabling Business Flexibility, Enterprise Modernization, Mobile, Small & Medium Business, Smarter Marketing, , Transforming Business

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