In 2018 we saw a lot of “revenue management” Software coming into the market.

NB: This is an article from Fabian Bartnick, VP Asia Pacific and International Business for LodgIQ

Well, let’s say a lot of software providers started to use the term Revenue Management very loosely to fit in with the current trend. Oh yeah, RM, the once locked down in the basement department has come to glory and “everyone is doing it”.

It is interesting, few years back the term Revenue management was very exclusive to revenue management systems. But starting in 2018 everyone jumped on the bandwagon claiming revenue management capabilities and using the word more and more in their marketing activities. This either adds to the confusion of what RM really is, makes it pointless as it doesn’t seem to be anything yet everything or we come to the conclusion that is has evolved from a want to a need (and that many players play a role in revenue management).

I choose the later and with it we need a new generation of RM’s to take the reins. Thanks to the Millennial’s and Gen Z we are positioned just right see Revenue Management 4.0 and with it the citizen data scientist emerge in 2019.

We know Revenue management is not just number crunching anymore BUT we cannot forget that at the heart of revenue management sits one thing and one thing only: data.

What exactly is a citizen data scientist and how can they take RM to the next level? oh, and why do we need them if we have data scientist?

IBM predicts that demand for data scientist will soar by 28% by 2020, other sources go as high to say we will have a 50–60% gap between supply and demand for data scientists. And considering that data will exponentially grow (some talking 44 zettabytes by 2020 — damn, that’s 44 trillion gigabytes) we can see that we are in dire need of data scientist.

So, citizen data scientist to become the awesome sidekick as Robin, Trinity, Chewbacca:

Imagine Citizen data scientists as “power users”. They can perform various analytical tasks — both simple and to a certain extend sophisticated tasks (which previously would have required more expertise).

Don’t be mistaken, they will not replace the Data Scientist (most don’t know how to write advanced algorithms or are able to use Python to get the algorithms to work) but they will complement them by offering their deep domain expertise. Not only that, but they bring in skills from other areas of the business such as marketing, sales and finance.

Common traits will include:

  • Contextualized vision of the entire organization — the big picture
  • Understanding in the application of analytics to solve business problems
  • Not just a “Jack of all traits” understanding other disciplines, but deeper
  • Ability to lead and turn data into meaningful stories
  • Ability to challenge the Data Scientist
  • Comfortable in the use of multipel RM ecosystems software applications

Many organizations will and are struggling to find or employ data scientists in 2019. Some you could argue might not need one as the operation is too small to justify. Yet all of the organizations have data, all want to drive their revenues and all to some extent will require help to make sense of it all.

The Citizen Data Scientist is not a new word and other industries have used it as far back as 2016 yet hospitality has now come to a maturity where we can and should use this word more often (and will use more often). We will not find them just in RM, but also in Marketing, Finance or Sales.

The good news is, most are already here: Many experienced RM’s and don’t forget Millennials and Gen Z who are all born or blasted since childhood with digital, with data, with technology so are prime candidates to take that role — in-house or outsourced