Digital signage is rapidly replacing two-dimensional static signage in just about every industry. Gone are the days when you’d pull into a fast-food restaurant and see someone on a ladder updating the number of burgers served, or the prices on a drive-thru menu. That was then.

Nowadays, you are more likely to see a touch screen ordering kiosk playing advertisements until a customer walks up and touches the screen. When the screen is touched it triggers a self-service interactive menu allowing the customer to order food without interacting at the counter. This is now.

Different types of businesses share content via digital signage in different formats, but each organization will have a common goal: communicating the most relevant information to the right people at the right time. Both methods mentioned above provide a modern platform for content management, but data-driven content takes your messaging to the next level, more accurately reaching your target audience with the most up to date information.

Skykit utilizes modern web development technologies like JavaScript, CSS, and HTML to essentially turn the media player on the display into a mini web server. At Skykit we call this feature a Code Bundle. This allows displays to engage in many different types of interactive content such as menu boards, promotional boards, and interactive wayfinding solutions, constantly updating media files (like a web page). Code bundles enable you to create content that will be pulling up to date information from another source in near real-time.

Who’s using data-driven content?

Quick Serve Restaurants (QSRs), fast-casual, and grocery stores share data-driven content on digital menu boards. Typically these companies manage price updates on a point of sale (POS) system like Revel, Square, or Toast. These POS systems have application programming interfaces (APIs) that you access to view, analyze, and extract data from. This ability to extract data enables you to control the prices on the menu board via the information in your POS database. Skykit utilizes code bundles to communicate with POS systems, making it easy to update pricing in real-time and at multiple locations, without having to log into the digital signage CMS.

Convention Centers are another industry that uses data-driven content really well, specifically for event management. One of the most commonly used tools for scheduling and organizing events is a spreadsheet. Skykit utilizes the same code bundle concept as the menu boards but applies it to a spreadsheet instead of a POS system. The code bundle allows event managers to change the event time, location, and other details quickly and easily in a familiar file format. The digital signage CMS supporting the event will automatically update with the new information. This simplifies content creation since a single person can make one change that updates an infinite number of screens, in real-time or on a schedule.

Data-driven content saves time.

In the past, content creation was time-consuming. It involved a series of reviews and approvals before it was shared. Then it was sent to the printer, and before long the information was outdated, and the entire process started over again. Prior to the Digital Age, sharing that content was a complex production as well. Organizations spent too much time and money to deliver a simple message.

Today, digital signage makes content sharing fast and easy. And Skykit makes it even easier by enabling users to leverage real-time data to their screens using the simplest formats. Pulling data directly from a source that is being updated outside of the CMS ensures that information is up to date, and it’s as simple as the click of a button.

This concept of data-driven dynamic content is an easy and efficient way to take the workload off the plate of the content creation team and ensure the end-user gets the data they need on the screen in real-time. The two examples we shared are just the tip of the iceberg on how anyone can harness the power of web development to upgrade their digital signage. If you have questions or ideas about how you could use data-driven content, reach out to Skykit at sales@skykit.com.