A fly on the wall of a conversation about hotels and technology will almost invariably hear the word silos. How are technology silos holding us back, for instance? Data silos are a barrier in any organization, but this term doesn’t adequately convey the true mess that the hospitality finds itself in. The problem is that silos suggest order. Some logical grouping of like things. But this is hardly what we have in hospitality anymore.
Enter, Exhibit A! The Spaghetti Chart
Source: Snapshot Travel
The spaghetti chart illustrates the reality of the situation. The PMS continues to be at the core, but channel management, revenue management, reservations software, CRMs, mobile technology, and the multitude of other tech pieces that come together to offer a whole administrative and guest experience swirl around the PMS haphazardly.
Hoteliers struggle just in managing the technology. Making good sense of highly valuable data buried deep in the spaghetti is virtually impossible.
And yet, a projection for 2017 is that hotels will begin interpreting their data usefully; it is the “ultimate intelligence,” according to Skift. It really is.
However, calls like this for hotels to focus on data science in order to do better at understanding the wealth of available information sometimes overlook an important step. Data organization must come first, and data organization begins with technology integration. Integration is often thought of as the merger of two systems; however, in the case of hotels, it must be considered as a process of creating, as the dictionary definition goes, “an integral whole.”