In most hotel companies today, “reporting” means little more than taking reports from source systems, exporting them into Excel and having teams of people analyze the spreadsheets to get a clearer picture of an individual property. To look at an entire portfolio or an entire company, hoteliers aggregate those Excel spreadsheets. It's an extremely labor-intensive process where one miscalculated field within a cell can go undetected and cause dirty data. This means hoteliers today are spending incredible amounts of resources and often not getting accurate results.
This blog is adapted from our whitepaper Strength in Numbers: Unlocking Data for Actionable Insights. Download your free copy today.
Hoteliers cannot get away with making decisions with relatively scant data or relying on gut feel. It’s no longer enough to simply look at how the hotel performed yesterday and base tomorrow’s decisions on that. All levels of hotelier, from a revenue analyst or a group sales rep on property to regional leadership and corporate teams, should be analyzing strong data and making more educated decisions.
The most successful revenue leaders are those who can facilitate the most transparency around the numbers of the hotel business. Data and analytics should be shared not only between the frontline -- the departmental experts -- but also with executives and across peers. While some hoteliers tend to be nervous about giving too much exposure to data to people that may not fully understand it, good revenue teams don’t limit access to analytics.
The ability for hotels to run their businesses effectively and compete in the modern marketplace is predicated on the entire organization having one common understanding of what's happening with the company -- with the demand, with the guests, and so on. Real time and accurate data will ensure your teams are working toward common goals and making cohesive and smart decisions to drive revenue and profitability.
Having the right tools can help hotel revenue leaders be more comfortable with the data they’re sharing. Hoteliers can leverage modern solutions that automate the collection of data, without allowing human error to be introduced, in an efficient and consistent manner. With the right resources, hoteliers should always be confident that they have the most current and accurate data without expending crippling amounts of resources to get it.
Fortunately, business intelligence tools built specifically for hospitality have come a long way. While different stakeholders are relying on different analytics, in many cases the data is being pulled from the same sources. Advanced custom reporting and dashboarding tools allow hoteliers at all levels to easily log in and get a quick snapshot of past, present and future performance trends. Each user in your company can tailor the data that they see and the analysis that they perform to their specific context, rather than relying on one static report.
A salesperson, for example, will care more about trends and data points surrounding the property’s role in the market -- specific elements of the comp set, space utilization, demand, RFPs, etc. At the corporate level, the focus shifts to looking at the entire portfolio and how it's performing, and how overall competitive forces are shaping the market. Helpful data will be analyzing third-party demand vs. direct demand, for example.
Once revenue professionals have a long-term view of using information and a sharpened ability to communicate it and contextualize it, then strategies to optimize revenue begin to fall in place. And, as trust is built on the backbone of data, these revenue leaders should be given more freedom to operate and innovate.