Make Your Game Greater With Data

Make Your Game Greater With Data

Developing a Data Driven Creative Company. There’s a worrying point of view within the games industry that data is something for the suits. It’s for publishers, marketers and other business types. Developers – real developers – who rely on their endless creativity, hardcore technical skills and absolute appreciation of games and game design – don’t need data.

Every Developer Needs Data

That’s a problem. It’s a problem because it’s not true. If you are a programmer, artist, animator, developer, producer, or creator, working within a large studio, then yes – you may not need to use data in your day-to-day work. However, if you’re a game developer, of whatever kind, who’s planning to release your own game – as an individual, as a small team, or as part of a new indie studio – you absolutely will need to at least appreciate the value of data and why it’s important to your game.

Whether you’re developing a simple, stand-alone, single-player game, for whatever platform, or a larger, more complex online title, you need to be able to recognise, understand and USE your data, if you want to survive beyond your first title.

More Than Downloads

Looking at your sales, download numbers, player behaviour, ad revenue, DLC purchases, or life-time value, is no longer optional. If you’re serious about making a living from creating videogames, then you’re going to have to understand and act upon your data. Even if you’re working with a publisher, you need to know where your game is selling, where you players are spending money, or where they’re all dropping out.

Help Is At Hand

The games industry isn’t alone. Every creative business is facing the same issue. Whether they’re visual artists, performers, musicians, authors, or creators of some kind – everyone now needs to understand data and take action to make themselves more effective.

Thankfully, there’s a new online course from the University of Edinburgh, which has been created specifically for creative businesses – including game developers.

Developing a Data Driven Creative Company

Running from Wednesday 24 February–Wednesday 31 March 2021 this non-accredited course will teach you to: harness the power of your data to develop insights and inform decisions, and maximise your creative service, product, or experiences for audiences.

Created and delivered by a team of experts from the Edinburgh Futures Institute, the course will introduce you to the whole ‘data journey’, enabling every participant to understand the ways in which data can be recognised, collected, understood and used to make your business better.

What You’ll Learn

  • How to recognise the different types of data in a creative business and the range of creative technology that uses or generates data.
  • How design methodology can help identify the touch points in the data journey, data collection and user experience.
  • How the data you collect can best align to your business objectives and support their achievement.
  • How to identify and address any data strategy gaps, and the skills and/or design development that may be required.
  • How to manage data, processes and protocols, design interactions with other data sets, and data protection, ethics and governance.
  • How to understand who’s who in data; exploring the various roles, demystifying functions, responsibilities, titles, skill sets.
  • How to move from spreadsheets to dashboards and use data visualisations as a tool for decision making, and how to layer other data sources for greater insights.
  • How to find out what else lies ahead in data driven innovation.
  • How to use other resources, support, learning and research/innovation collaboration.

The course asks for only 1.5 hour per week, with additional couple of hours suggested for exploring data questions within your workplace.


Pre-course questionnaire
Week 1Wednesday 24 FebruaryData in the creative industries Design and data What is the potential of data? Case study Self-directed learning question
Week 2Wednesday 3 MarchExamining business objectives and collected data are in alignment Gap analysis External sources of data Case study Self-directed learning question
Week 3Wednesday 10 MarchMaking good data visualisations Data metrics and visualisations as decision-making tools From spreadsheets to dashboards Case study Self-directed learning task
Week 4Wednesday 17 MarchManaging data: processes, protocols, security, storage, data flow and system design Who’s who in data Data ethics Self-directed learning task
Week 5Wednesday 24 MarchLeading digital/data transformation Planning for change Case study Self-directed learning task
Week 6Wednesday 31 MarchWhat’s next in data-driven innovation for creative innovation? Interactive exercise Signposting to further support Action plan development and sharing (optional, voluntary)


The course has been procied to make it available to individuals and companies. Prices start from £150 for individuals (freelancers, sole traders), £250 for companies with 2-50 employees and £500 for those with more than 50.

There are also a limited number of FREE places available thanks to support from the Scottish Funding Council’s Workforce Development Funding Support.

25 x funded places have been awarded to support those adversely affected in the Creative Industries by the impact of Covid-19 to enable upskilling through this course. The free spaces will be allocated to those who meet the eligibility criteria, on a first-come-first-served basis.

Registration closes at 16:00 on Friday 19 February.

Find out more, check your eligibility and register now.

Photo by Franki Chamaki on Unsplash

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