When hotel organizations began collecting data for commercial management, the power of this data was only in the hands of the analysts who had the required skills to organize, analyze and interpret it. Because most other people in the organization didn’t have the skills necessary, the data was out of reach for them, all they could do was rely upon the reports created by the analysts.

NB: This is an article from HotelIQ, one of our Expert Partners

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Fast forward to today and there has been an ocean’s worth of digital ink spilled talking about “being data-driven”, “breaking down silos” and “unifying commercial teams”. BI and analytics tools that automate data collection, and make interpreting & sharing data easy, are now widely available to organizations of all sizes.

Ok, but so what, is it really worth it to change the way you operate?

In short, yes! Just because someone on your team can make really cool pivot tables or write SQL queries doesn’t mean they should be the company’s unofficial data czar. It’s time to set that data free. Vive la révolution!

A Competitive Advantage

Imagine this; two hotels in the same city are having their weekly commercial strategy meetings.

Hotel A uses an analytics tool that the entire commercial team has access to, from Revenue Management to Sales, Marketing and the GM. They run their meeting using this analytics tool with everyone following along. As they review past performance, look forward and reflect on strategy and tactics, their tool highlights what’s important, answers questions and through visualizations, keeps everyone aligned and on the same page. Before and after the meeting, everyone is able to access the tool to get the data they need to make decisions.

Hotel B has the revenue manager generate all of the necessary reports the morning of the meeting, put them into a digital package to be emailed, and also prints copies for everyone to use. In the meeting, upon reviewing the reports, someone asks a question about the figures, leading the revenue manager to realize that they’ve made an error and the figures are compromised. They promise to correct the error and email a new report package after the meeting. The team has little to no access to data outside of the reporting provided by the revenue manager.

Which hotel’s team do you think is able to be more proactive, agile and make faster decisions? Who is more likely to take advantage of an opportunity in the market, or avoid a threat? I know which meeting I’d rather be in.

Actually Enable Data Driven Decision Making

Everyone talks about being more data driven, but how do you do it? Well, actually giving people data to work with is probably a good place to start. Just because someone doesn’t know how to put the spreadsheet together doesn’t mean they’re analytically illiterate.

Your organization, across all departments, is filled with clever people – give them access to what they need to make better decisions faster and watch them go.

When done properly, this frees up time for the report-producing person too. If your analyst or revenue manager is spending more time generating reports than analyzing them, that’s really not an efficient use of their time (or the org’s resources). Just think; how much more productive would you be if you had a couple extra hours a week suddenly freed up?

“When you allow data access to any tier of your company, it empowers individuals at all levels of ownership and responsibility to use the data in their decision making,” Bernard Marr

So to wrap up, before you change your tools- you have to change your thinking. Data is a resource to be harnessed by people throughout your organization, not something a few people keep under lock and key. By freeing up access to data across your organization, you’ll empower real data-driven decision making across the board, and have a clear competitive advantage over those lagging behind.

Read more articles at HotelIQ