Small data results from internal resources like PMS, channel manager, website etc. Hotels need to consider the quality and utility of small data, before looking deep into big data, intelligence and analytics.
Hotels have to deal with a variety of data sources and this means there is a need to address pertinent issues. For instance, is there an infrastructure in place to help the frontline staff with uncomplicated and intuitive systems to serve the guests?
It can’t be ignored that there is massive amount of data – PMS, RMS, CRM, social media, mobile app etc. – to help managers at property level and enterprise level. So hotels need to take charge, and lay a strong foundation.
“Strengthen your decision-making related to the ability to collect and store data. Get ready to take responsibility for that. Look to work with specialists/ vendors who can sit on top of that storage,” says Berlin-Germany-based SnapShot co-founder David Turnbull. He says one of the highlights in China is that there are many PMS operators who have already made that shift into the cloud. And with that comes the API access.
This means there is great choice available and readiness for one to offer operational intelligence on top of your data. “(For Chinese hotels) it’s the same challenge as in Europe i. e. to regain ownership of your data but different in terms of requirement of the user, in terms of what information they have to have, how to effectively operate their businesses. By being in control of data, you can assess – “what is my desired guest experience?” and from there on you outreach the developers capable of fulfilling that direction. Its years away from coming into mass reality,” says Turnbull.
It is important to understand that 60-70% of the market in first-tier cities in China is budget and mid-scale. “So in mature markets like Europe and North America, one could argue that the need for predictive to prescriptive analytics is influencing the developments, whereas in China it’s much more about operational dashboards, real-time information that would improve guests’ experience and customer service. That can be termed as the big difference (for the opportunity) between China and mature markets,” explained Turnbull.
Mobile commerce and data-related repercussions
“China has fast-tracked the distribution (featuring mobile) component quite effectively. Be it for the likes of Alitrip, Ctrip etc. or China Online, these players have moved quickly is payments,” says Turnbull. Today Ctrip garners around 70% of orders via their mobile platform, with Q3 net revenue generation being RMB5.6 billion!
“This development is quite smart and advanced, when compared with Europe and the U. S. By creating an easy-to-access payment ecosystem, you are paving way for direct mobile interaction between, the merchant, the hotel, and the consumer. This creates many opportunities for the future in terms of the ability to collect data and enhance the customer experience.”