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WSU's Rhatigan Student Center Makes Data-Driven Operational Improvements

Industry: Campus Spaces

Application: Foot Traffic Analytics

Newly Renovated Rhatigan Student Center Uncovers Traffic Trends with SenSource

In spring of 2012, Wichita State University broke ground on a massive renovation project for their Rhatigan Student Center, adding 60,000 square feet and demolishing 80% of the former building. Along with the physical changes to the facility, upgrades to the technological and interactive aspects of the student center were integrated to focus on “today’s students”.

As Wichita State University began planning the renovation of its student center, a wishlist of technologies to be included emerged. The Director of Information Technology at the Rhatigan Student Center, David Kidd, knew the value a people counting system would bring to the operations of the new facility, “One of the new technology things we wanted to look at installing was traffic and occupancy counters. People have always asked us, ‘…how many people are using the RSC?’ For years it was always a guess and not even an educated one at that. So we put it on the list of technologies to consider for the renovation.”

While the two and half year renovation was underway, it became apparent not every technology on the list would be included in the project. “As with most renovations of our size, budgets and costs were always on the table and constantly changing,” explained Kidd.

Kidd worked with the team at SenSource throughout the duration of the renovation, continually rallying for the inclusion of a people counting system, “Traffic and occupancy counters slowly worked their way down the priority list,” said Kidd. “It finally came down to where it was removed from the renovation budget completely. We were left with if we wanted it, we had to find another way to pay for it.”

Having worked closely with SenSource from the beginning, the team at RSC decided to move forward with the SenSource system, even if it was coming from the student center’s budget. SenSource sales representative, Chris Listorti, explains, “David and I worked together for almost three years before the first phase of our system was installed at the student center in January 2015. Creating long-term client relationships like this makes my job worthwhile. When we received the go-ahead to install, I was just as excited as David to see the fruition of our efforts.”

The implementation of the SenSource system is divided into three phases. The first phase, completed in January, installed people counting sensors at the primary entrances of the Rhatigan Student Center to collect traffic data. The second phase will be to install sensors at the retail shops for traffic data and lastly in the meeting rooms to collect occupancy data.

In just three months, the traffic trends uncovered at the primary entrances are already proving what Kidd knew all along – the people counting system is bringing value to the operations for the newly renovated facility.

It has been very interesting so far to see when our busiest days/times are. We’ve also learned some things we had never really thought about until looking at the data. A good example would be traffic at what we considered our ‘front door’. We have learned that this isn’t really used as a primary ‘entrance’, but a primary ‘exit’ from the building. We see more entry traffic at other doors that we’ve really never thought about or paid much attention to before. Having this type of data really gets you to thinking about how we can use this to makeus better.

David Kidd Director of Information Technology, Rhatigan Student Center

SenSource anticipates even more trends to be revealed, helping the management team at RSC make better business decisions. The additional coverage areas in phases two and three will provide traffic and occupancy data that ultimately assists in meeting the student center’s goal for the newly renovated facility – to ensure that the RSC remains the home away from home for WSU students now and for years to come.

“I can’t say enough about Chris and the team at SenSource,” stated Kidd. “They have been a great resource to work with on this project. We’re only three months in, but are already looking forward to when we can start comparing data from year to year and semester to semester.”

Customer Profile

The Rhatigan Student Center at Wichita State University

Application: To collect and analyze foot traffic data at the student center entrances

Solution: SenSource ClearCount 3D people counting system with Vea Analytics Software

“It has been very interesting so far to see when our busiest days and times are… Having this type of data really gets you to thinking about how we can use this to make us better.”
David Kidd, Rhatigan Student Center, Director of IT