EVP, Sales and Marketing
Albert Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
While that revelation may not be new, it applies to hospitality’s data landscape now more than ever before.
Why? Because we are drowning in data. And with powerful, complex data sets sitting within reach, it’s hard to know what to identify, what to simplify, and what to apply. With modern day business intelligence (BI) software, every guest or traveler behavior is constantly recorded. How can hotels analyze, act, and add value to their service offering by understanding it well enough?
The question is, which data really matters – and how do we act upon it?
First, we want to be able to review data and make decisions as quickly and as simply as we can. In fact, companies using data analytics are considered 5 times more likely to make fast decisions. Long gone are the days of spreadsheets. Now we have dashboards, specific visualizations and responsive design; multi-faceted tools which allow us to make responsive decisions regarding the data we collect—from anywhere, anytime.
Second, we want to drill down further on data that is relevant. This is where a data exploration platform allows you to see what matters, and reveals hidden trends which otherwise could have been missed. You want to uncover specific patterns of facts that assist in the decision-making process. For example, when it comes to hotel room distribution and which channels to use, the facts a hotelier needs include which distribution channels yield the most revenue, which yield the most profit, and during which periods of time both occur.
Red Roof Inn is an outstanding example of taking action with data-based decisions. During 2013 and 2014, the company realized that flight cancellation rates were hovering at about 3%, creating an opportunity for hotels adjacent to major airports. At least 90,000 passengers were being left stranded every day. Red Roof Inn worked to gather public data on weather conditions and flight cancellations. Predicting that stranded passengers would likely search for nearby hotels via their mobile device, the hotel chain launched a targeted marketing campaign aimed at mobile device users in the areas most affected by cancellations. This action based on data led to a 10% increase in business in the affected areas.
At Pegasus, we caution our customers not to fall victim to ignoring data. We suggest hotels assess their current operation, and future objectives, to drill down and understand which data points need focus and are actionable. A plan to identify the right data, and create actions in response to it –together with a strong technology partner—enable hotels to increase sales and ultimately know more about their guests.
After all, the more hoteliers know about their guests, the better they can enhance their service and understand the revenue opportunities. There’s no denying it — there is indeed data everywhere, and the hotel industry needs it to drive revenues, and guest engagement.