Big data isn’t all about knowing every nuance of your guests; it’s also about getting a closer look at your own business. For companies like global giant Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, that has meant completely evolving the way it performs analysis, putting greater emphasis on data and reporting and moving away from decentralized methods.
Over the last two years the company has instituted myriad changes across all departments, all tapping into big data through a variety of new interfaces and reporting systems. Executives say the move is intended to take Carlson’s longstanding guest focus and turn it inward.
“Our brands have been a very guest-centric, and very highly rated in terms of our personal interactions in terms of when guests are onsite,” explains Brad Beakley, senior vice president of commercial operations for Carlson Rezidor. “But on the analytics and business intelligence side, we’ve not historically had a huge focus on that.”
Beakley says all that has changed dramatically at the company over the last 18 to 24 months. This past February Carlson pulled together all its various heads of departmental analytics and created a centralized business intelligence and analytics team, specifically to ensure the company is leveraging best practices and has some degree of oversight regarding how one conducts analysis, ensuring that operations research protocols are adhered to. Beakley says the company can also share skills across its teams much easier now.
“It started primarily in our revenue optimization area, so the revenue management team, which typically in any company they’re going to have more data to begin with,” Beakley says. “We’ve thrown in a couple of key resources, starting a process a couple of years back of making sure we have our data in an accessible location and we have tools for conducting analysis.”
The movement began at Carlson with some staffers from the revenue management department downloading a free copy of Tableau to their desktops, and upon seeing the potential, using the application to build reports.