Data Analysis

Data analytics in the hotel industry: The big data dilemma

Does your hotel fall into the big data dilemma that plagues the industry? Learn what you can do to gain better data analytics in the hotel industry.

Big data has taken the hospitality industry by storm.

Nowadays, data analytics in the hotel industry is varied and comes from a wide range of different sources. However, without the right structures in place, you won’t be able to fully utilise your hotel data to optimise its operations. Instead, you could be leaving money on the table every single day.  

What is big data in the hotel industry?

Simply put, big data is the term used to describe the large volume of structured and unstructured data collected every day by businesses. It often requires advanced processing software to visualise and identify trends. Data analytics in the hotel industry often come in three forms. 

  1. Market indices, such as the market penetration index (MPI) and average rate index (ARI), provide insight into the revenue performance of hotels in your market. 
  2. Guest data collected from your property management system (PMS) and point of sale (POS) software is used to gain visibility into guest information, what drives their purchasing behaviour, and their preferences.
  3. Online travel agencies (OTA) capture valuable data about your hotel’s channel performance and guest review scores.

The dilemma of data analytics in the hotel industry

With the right strategy and execution, data analytics has the potential to improve almost every department of your hotel’s business, from the front office and housekeeping to the maintenance and finance department. However, siloed data is one of the biggest challenges for modern hoteliers. Let's break down why siloed data occurs and how to fix it. 

Siloed data

Useful data comes from a number of sources in the hospitality industry. PMS and POS systems provide a remarkable number of metrics about guests throughout their visits. Industry reports, like STR, offer invaluable metrics on the competition. However, with so much data available from many sources, hotels are often left with all of their big data stuck in silos.

Data silos are insular information systems that are incapable of data integration. They may seem harmless, but hoteliers can run into major issues when they’re trying to analyse and action their data. While you can see key statistics on individual platforms, you often miss the big picture.

Inconsistent Data

Inconsistent data refers to different datasets containing different information about a particular record. For example, the front desk team may format guest data differently than the food and beverage or sales departments. This leads to data quality, accuracy, and integrity issues that can affect operational, analytics, and planning applications.

Missing data

The problem of missing data is relatively common in the hotel industry. Data silos lock data away from some users, even if they’re in the same organisation. As a result, you don’t have access to all available data, which can lead to flawed decision-making. 

3 Ways to ensure hotel data quality

Preventing data analytics silos in the hotel industry to offer better insights into your hotel operations can be challenging when you have multiple systems to align. Fortunately, many data management tools and strategies are available to help you do this. Below are some of the first steps you can take to be on your way to better hotel data management. 

  1. Correct poor data practices

The first place to start if you’re looking for high-quality data is the source. It is best practice to input complete and accurate data entries in your PMS and POS. Doing this will help to keep your hotel data consistent. Beyond better new data entry, you’ll have to focus your efforts on fixing or removing incomplete, duplicate, or incorrect existing data within your datasets. 

This process is long and tedious, which is why you would benefit from a solution truly built for hotels. For example, Extract is InTouch’s in-house data extracting tool that allows you to extract and clean data from every system in your hotel. That way, you can break down data silos and unlock complete visibility into your entire operation.

  1. Integrate data effectively

Syncing your hotel management systems is the best way to break down data silos. The most popular form of data integration is Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL), which extracts data from different source systems, consolidates, and loads it into one single software. 

For example, with InTouch BI, a tailor-made solution for handling data analytics in the hotel industry, you can gain unique insights into areas beyond rooms, such as: 

  • Food and beverage
  • Spa
  • Conferences
  • Events
  • and more 

This gives you better visibility into your hotel’s day-to-day, helping you identify valuable revenue optimisation opportunities to make the most of your data.

  1. Leverage data to form better guest experiences

Ultimately, it's best to not only eliminate existing data silos but also prevent new ones from being formed. It’s important to note that a procedure change may be necessary to ensure that all departments adapt to a new data management model. A significant benefit of getting the entire hotel staff to adopt new data standards is clean data. 

Once your data is unified, you can use a guest intelligence tool to create a unique relationship with your guests. For example, with InTouch Guest, you can access granular data to gain clarity into guest behaviour. Then, you can build uniquely targeted marketing campaigns and deploy them from a single, powerful platform.

Get the most out of your hotel data analytics today

Don’t waste any more time gathering your data instead of analysing it. Data sources are only going to become more and more crowded as time goes by, which is why it is important to ensure that you have the right tools and support in place to process and take action on your data. 

InTouch’s suite of decision intelligence tools was created to withstand the test of time. In an ever-changing industry like that of hotel management, you can finally have clean, organised data so you can focus on what really matters.

Request a product tour today to tackle the big data dilemma in the hotel industry with InTouch’s holistic approach to data analytics.

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