Warning: data collection is addicting. Once you realize the full power of using data to unlock your hotel’s best business performance, there’s no turning back. With more frequent data collection in a hotel, the more you learn about what’s working and what needs to be improved.
As mentioned in this article by a fellow data enthusiast (or data wizard), data is the strongest currency in the hospitality industry because intuition and gut feelings aren’t accurate enough and we couldn’t agree more. The article highlights the importance of frequent data analysis to improve the hotel’s overall performance because if you’re only looking at your performance indicators on an annual basis, it’s already too late. By taking a look at your hotel’s KPIs on a weekly or monthly basis, hotels can see where growth is occurring and where changes need to be made to avoid losses. In the end, data analysis sees it all and once you discover the endless possibilities of how data can improve your hotel business, there’s no way to turn back to the “dark ages” of pre-data collecting times.
Once you have your data, with the right technology tools and solutions, there are some pretty cool features your hotel can access. For instance, group bookings are a pretty big business for hotels and the number of them is on the rise, according to this article. Hotels are already aware of the increasing trend, thanks to data of course, but what can they really do to take full advantage of this? By implementing the right advanced technology or management platforms, hotels can begin to leverage their revenue management systems and optimize profits from group bookings. They already know about the trends, but without the proper tools, it’s difficult to take action to benefit your hotel. That being said, technology needs to be implemented with the right about of dosage that fits your hotel and your guests’ needs. As seen in this article, while technology is of the utmost importance, having too much of it can be a problem too. Based on movies and pop culture, there appears to be the fear of technology taking over and eliminating the need for human interaction. While this is somewhat true in the sense that our lives are becoming more and more convenient from the advancements of technology, there still needs to be the right balance between machines and humans, especially in the hospitality industry of service. Customers are expecting efficiency and convenience during their hotel stays, but also expect the small touches of service that only human interaction and instinct can provide. Phew, we’re safe, for now…
One useful tool of technology that has proven successful in many industries is the customization feature. Look at Netflix and Amazon. The two tech companies use AI functions to personalize the user experience by recommending shows and products based on the users’ patterns. Imagine if Expedia or other OTAs were able to provide hotel recommendations for users through similar AI functions. In this article, the author uses data (yay!) to create a code to build a hotel recommendation engine. It’s already being implemented in other industries, so why not hospitality next? If you’re not as code-savvy as you’d like to be, like yours truly, it’s not the easiest to read a few lines of code and understand what the data is telling you. For those more visual learners, data visualizations are becoming an art form and actually really cool to look at. As seen here, Visme has gathered the 25 Best Data Visualizations of 2018 created by graphic designers all over the world from the History of Bruce Springsteen to finding the best mascara to how much money wealthy people spend on clothes. Take a look to see how columns and figures of data can turn into beautiful, fun-to-look-at graphic designs.