Business Intelligence

[eBook] The Ultimate Guide to Hotel BI

Hotel BI tools enable hoteliers to leverage their data to make more profitable decisions. Here’s a comprehensive guide to hotel business intelligence.


As a revenue manager, you typically have one goal in mind: profitability. With a first-class hotel BI (business intelligence) program, you can maximize revenue and achieve operational efficiency. Learn everything you need to know about strategising, implementing, and optimising the best BI program for your hotel with a deep dive into how to capture insights based on your hotel’s data. 

eBook Overview

  • What is hotel BI?
    • Steps to set up the Business intelligence process
  • What tools can you use for BI?
  • How do hotels use BI?
  • What are the key functions of hotel BI data analysis?
  • What are the benefits of hotel BI?
  • What are the challenges of hotel BI?
  • How do you implement hotel BI?
  • Bonus: Hotel BI implementation checklist
Ultimate guide png

Download Your Free Guide to Hotel BI

  • Build a BI program that allows you to make the most of your hotel’s data with step-by-step guides and an implementation checklist.
  • Learn everything you need to know about data extraction, visualization, and analysis.

What is hotel BI?

In 2018, a study conducted by Gartner found that over 87% of organizations have low business intelligence (BI) maturity. In other words, nearly 90% of businesses worldwide aren’t taking full advantage of their data.  That means the majority of your competition is massively underutilizing an extremely crucial piece of their revenue strategy. 

But, what is BI? And how can you leverage it to your advantage?

Hotel BI is the strategic use of software to track, analyze, and understand hotel-specific data gathered from internal and external sources to drive revenue decisions.

Hotel revenue managers typically use business intelligence to view their hotel's historical and current data. Then, they use that information to make revenue decisions, eliminate inefficiencies, adapt to market changes, and ultimately boost hotel profitability.

By processing large data sets from multiple sources, hotel BI tools enable revenue managers, marketers, and hotel executives to make better decisions and manage their data more efficiently. The technologies you use for BI are tools that supplement the strategic purpose of capturing and actioning insights into your hotel’s operations. Understanding BI is vital to making the most of your hotel’s data.

How does hotel BI work?

With the right Hotel BI solution, you should be able to turn your messy data into intelligent decisions in just three steps:

Step 1: Data extraction and collection

Step 2: Data visualisation

Step 3: Analysis and decision-making

Step 1: Data extraction and collection

Hotel BI starts with two key components: data extraction and collection. Data extraction is the process of gathering data from a hotel’s various systems, such as their property management system (PMS), point of service (POS) software, sales and catering (S&C) software, and other channels.

Comprehensive BI software also collects data from third-party data sources to enable you to conduct market analysis. This data helps contextualise internal metrics within the greater hospitality market. Two sources of this information are OTA Insight, which provides revenue and market data reports, and STR, which collects hospitality industry data.

Once data is extracted and collected, it’s cleaned, centralised, and mapped so BI applications can easily access it as a single, comprehensive data set.

Step 2: Data visualization

Next, BI software visualises data in dashboards, graphs, charts, and maps to make it easier to report and share findings. BI applications will identify patterns, present historical trends, and create forecasting visualisations. This process allows you to gain visibility into your hotel’s past, present, and future performance so you can quickly grasp and share insights and data captured by the BI tool.

Note: Data visualisation is an incredibly powerful tool in BI, however, if your data is inaccurate, your analysis will be inaccurate, and it can limit your ability to make the most profitable decisions.

Step 3: Analysis and decision-making

With your hotel’s data centralised and visualised, you can analyse your data in context with operational activities.  By using BI software you can determine what happened and why it happened and use these learnings to make predictions about what will happen. Through this process, you can build strategies, eliminate inefficiencies, forecast revenue, and make calculated decisions.

To make the most of your data, you need to understand the basics of data analytics. But, that process is a challenge in and of itself.  Chapter three will dive deeper into the basics of hotel data analysis.

What tools can you use for BI?

Modern BI is defined by the tools you use. These will save you time, and enable you to make the most of your data and decision-making. There are three main software tools to conduct business intelligence:

BI software

The platform that you’ll use to interface with and visualise your data is your BI software.

BI software provides three key features to your business intelligence program. First, it centralises your data so you can access it in one place. Second, it organises and visualises your data so you can gather insights quickly. Finally, your BI software will provide analytics tools, such as dashboards, reports, and ad hoc querying, so you can make decisions when you need to. A good BI software should fit the needs of your hospitality business while being flexible and useable.

Data extraction software

Data extraction software gathers data from both internal and external sources to be used in your BI software.  This tool pulls internal data from your Property Management System (PMS), your Point of Service (POS) software, and other systems you use throughout your properties, Extraction software sources external data from various industry and market reports.

Once the data is collected, it’s cleaned so your BI software can easily digest and centralise the information.  Using a good data extraction tool is essential for maintaining high-quality and accurate data. 

Note: Some BI platforms, like InTouch,  will extract and collect data in-house while others require third-party data sourcing.  Having a BI with in-house data extraction can increase your data accuracy.

Customer Relationship Management software 

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software helps you conduct your customer interactions. A CRM tool will allow you to study large amounts of data you’ve gathered from your guests to help target your messaging and build campaigns. If you’re going to use BI for marketing, a CRM tool will be the primary software you use.

Ultimate guide png

Download Your Free Guide to Hotel BI

  • Build a BI program that allows you to make the most of your hotel’s data with step-by-step guides and an implementation checklist.
  • Learn everything you need to know about data extraction, visualization, and analysis.

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