Much has been written and said on the topic of big data and data itself. Over the last years, the cost of data storage has decreased dramatically from about $7 to 10 per GB in the year 2000 to less than $0.03 per GB today.
Today, the holy grail is no longer the size of the storage and the focus has moved to speed (since the generalization of broadband connection and the introduction of fiber optic), reliability (with cloud hosting taking away most of the pain points experienced by IT managers), and accessibility (Wi-Fi or 4G is now available everywhere and the penetration of mobile devices is expected to reach 72 per cent globally by 2020).
New software, mobile applications or tools are launched every day to help businesses and individuals to take advantage of the variety of the data created and collected.
Think at how Google has changed the way you commute with Google Maps, how you discover new books, music, TV shows or movies matching your taste, the advertising or sponsored content on your social media feed. The list goes on and on.
Paradoxically, many hotels are not collecting relevant data or don’t know how to use and analyze their data to create insight. With proper analysis, data helps business owners to better understand consumer behaviour, make smarter decisions and ultimately improve their bottom line.
Collecting and analyzing data does not require fancy and expensive software. Even the smallest bed and breakfast can design a simple table in Excel, a database in Access or a powerful dashboard with Power BI. Data can and should be collected from many different sources: your booking engine, PMS, point of sales across the hotel (POS), guest satisfaction surveys and online reviews, website and social media analytic.