A hotel’s competitive edge is shaped by business intelligence (BI). Forrester reports that although 74 percent of businesses want to be “data driven,” only 29 percent are actually successful at transforming analytics into action. All that data that your hotel collects is only valuable if you can translate it into actionable insights that lead to better decisions and drive business growth. To create real value from BI, hotels must focus on specific strategies that close the loop between data collection and knowledge.
Begin with the End in Mind
As author Stephen Covey put it in his groundbreaking bestseller, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”: Begin with the end in mind. Every hotel is different and should be treated in a unique way. In order to drive action, examine key performance indicators and metrics that connect with your established business goals and strategic initiatives.
Define the Context
Data without proper context does not provide meaningful insights, and can actually lead to inaccurate interpretations and poor decisions. For example, an increase in your hotel occupancy rate over a specific period of time may sound great. However, knowing whether your competitive set increased by the same percentage or if they were flat or down makes that knowledge vastly more meaningful.
Break Down Organizational Silos
Tools collect the data, but it’s people who build the insights. It’s important to break down organizational silos and make data insights a collaborative team effort. If key information isn’t delivered to the right decision makers, valuable insights may never achieve fruition. Improve communication and democratize BI so that it’s translated into useful knowledge that benefits your entire business.
Breathe Life into Data
The way you present your data can make a significant difference in business outcomes. People need to clearly understand an insight – why it’s important and how it can help them. The best insights come from focusing on trends and strong relationships between data sets. Effective visualizations display findings in clear, easy-to-understand reports that lead to profitable business decisions.
Address the Integration Issue
In a recent Forbes Insights study concerning businesses and IoT technology, more than 30 percent of business leaders stated that their biggest challenge was integrating disparate data. To obtain maximum value from your data, it must be collected and transported to a place where it can be viewed holistically, delivering a complete picture of the business. A flexible BI tool with strong integration capabilities will enhance your understanding, deliver great insights, and lead to faster, data-driven decision making.
According to Hospitality Technology’s 2016 Lodging Technology Study, 62 percent of hoteliers surveyed use BI tools, and another 16 percent plan to add them in the near future. In this age of analytics, a hotel’s ability to do more with data is vital. But as former CEO of HP, Carly Fiorina, once said, “The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.”
It’s those business and customer insights gleaned from BI that give hotels their most effective weapon for achieving a competitive advantage. The true value of hotel data comes from analyzing the information to draw conclusions that drive business change, pushing you in new directions to optimize operations and create standout guest experiences.