The Increasingly Important Role of Data Analytics Beyond Customer Engagement

By Barbara Krzywoszanski Senior Product Manager - Systems, dormakaba | January 27, 2019

I was speaking to a few colleagues recently about 'Big Data' and what they thought it meant to the hotel industry. Our company's technical support representative beamed when he listed all the information an RFID hotel lock could provide to operators. Soon our software development engineer jumped in with a laundry list of services, features and details that could be extracted from our electronic access system.

Analytics in the Hotel Industry - Moving Beyond the Guest

As we went around the table, I sat back and listened to each of my colleagues and noted each specialist's insight. It was clear that big data meant something different to each person. More importantly, it became obvious that big data has a role to play to all touchpoints in the hospitality industry. Today's hoteliers look to big data to optimize their guest's experience and build loyalty. However, few are leveraging operational data that results in operational efficiencies and preventative asset management. Furthermore, with the ever increasing use of mobile technology for both guest and staff usage, information capture and analysis can better support staff training, increase security measures and track movement for optimal service and resource layout 

What Is Big Data Really?

Simply defined, big data refers to large informational data sets that, when combined and analyzed, identify patterns and trends that may be used to gain visibility into the components that make up a business' processes and operation. When data is used well it forms the foundation for accurate forecasts and predictions. 

Big data is represented by three factors, frequently referred to as the 3Vs; Volume, Velocity and Variety. Volume refers to the over-abundance of data that is being delivered. Velocity is the accumulation of data at an ever accelerating delivery speed that can make it virtually impossible to analyze in a timely way. Variety is the combination of expanding data sources that often reveal 'ah ha' moments when creatively merged for analysis. 

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.