Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Data Science For Hoteliers - Part 1

It is well established that the hospitality industry is extremely effective at mining data from its hotel guests. However, it is what happens with the data after its collection that can be problematic often rendering it largely ineffective for hoteliers. Hotels have a myriad of software programs, producing nearly innumerable data points. PMS systems are at the core of on-property data and attempt to manage the tangled web of information.

Yet in the current state of the world in which the hospitality industry finds itself attempting to compete hoteliers are called upon to make intelligent, fact-based management decisions. Hotels face intense competition for every dollar of revenue they bring in, from each other, Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), and the relatively new threat from Airbnb. In order to more effectively contend for the revenue available to them, hoteliers must first integrate their data systems so they can operate fully in concert with each other. Secondly, hotels need to implement user-friendly, yet nimble, revenue management software to break down the abundant distribution points so properly informed decisions may be made. Thirdly, these decisions must be made through the prism of creating customer personalization and delivering a customized experience to each guest.

The shifting marketing and sales emphasis of hotels has highlighted the need for PMS systems with significantly greater agility. The hospitality industry’s drive to personalize the hotel experience has meant that systems must now interface with guests through loyalty programs, guest marketing, customer relationship management (CRM), and even mobile apps. These are all tasks that were never even conceived of when many of the complex legacy PMS systems were originally brought on line.

The advent of hotel software hosted in the cloud has provided the required solution to these issues for hoteliers. A cloud-based, Software as a Service (SaaS) PMS system can juggle the many complex tasks and interfaces because it is designed to be fully integrated from the beginning with all other hotel systems. SaaS-based PMS systems offer hotels a multitude of advantages and improvements over traditional legacy systems. Data management is vastly streamlined because the sharing of information between systems is accomplished automatically, eliminating manual duplication. This offers hotels the opportunity to efficiently arm their staffs and management with the timely data required to properly personalize the experience of every guest, utilizing all the tools available to them.

In part two of this series we will cover the interpretation of hotel data utilizing a state-of-the art, cloud-based, revenue management tool.  

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