Solutions and Practices to Turn Hotel Data Into a Valuable Asset
The hotel business produces a plethora of data literally every moment. When a tourist books an accommodation online, that’s new data. When a front office manager checks in a guest, that’s new data. When a housekeeper marks a room as clean, that’s new data. When something happens (you name it), it’s new data.
Valuable facts and figures appear non-stop, but how do you take advantage of them? If not properly administered, most information is lost or unused, generating no profit. In this article, we’ll talk about proven data management approaches and technologies utilized in the hospitality industry to boost revenue and enhance customer experience.
What is data management?
Data management is the policy and practice of treating data as a valuable resource. Its goal is turning information into meaningful insights that enable expense and operation optimization, cost cutting with a resulting increase in profits.
In the hospitality industry, harnessing the power of data helps decision-makers to solve the challenging domain-specific tasks including:
- improving occupancy forecasting,
- setting competitive room prices,
- choosing the most profitable distribution channels,
- optimizing procurement operations,
- increasing guest loyalty, and
- identifying and targeting the most profitable guests.
Let’s take a closer look at major data management processes — data collecting, storing, and analyzing — as applied to the hotel domain.
Hotel data collection: what to look for
A key challenge of hotel data management is the high diversity of available information. It can be extracted from multiple websites, metasearch platforms, social media, internal documents, reports and systems. There are several pillar data sets you have to consider in the first place.
Important hotel data sets and overlaps between them.
Booking and property data
The main storage of hotel booking information is your property management system (PMS). While different PMS solutions may have slightly different functionality, their primary role is to work as a single source of truth for the following data points:
- Basic guest information — name, age, country of residence;
- Distribution channel — which distribution channel (your website, OTA, GDS, metasearch platform) was used to make a reservation;
- Lead time — how much in advance a room was booked;
- Length of stay (LOS) — the duration of a guest’s stay at your hotel;
- Room price — how much a stay costs per night;
- Room history — who occupies a particular room and when; and
- Key performance metrics (KPIs) — such as Average Daily Rate (average price per room), occupancy rate (the percentage of available rooms), Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR).
It used to be that the only way data got into the PMS was by a front-desk manager manually inputting it. But now, the system also accepts bookings from various online distribution channels, including:
- the hotel website,
- the hotel chain’s central reservation system (CRS),
- online travel agencies (OTAs),
- online booking platforms,
- global distribution systems (GDSs), and
- metasearch engines.
The PMS communicates with external booking sites and systems via a channel manager, that enables two-way data flow and syncs reservation updates across all connected systems.