The Full Menu: Gathering Data and Optimizing Performance

As an introduction to HEDNA Miami, the Hotel Analytics Working Group Co-chairs Connie Marianacci and Anisha Yadav generated discussion with key content contributors. The session focused on data challenges, the importance of effective dashboards, creating data synergies to optimize the channel mix, and avoiding silos.

Contributors:
Edoardo Dal Negro, Co-Founder at Blinkup
Andrew Corke, Business Intelligence Director at Travelport
Salman Akbar, Director, BI & Analytics at Accor NCA

When I hear about market mix, coming from the ecommerce perspective, this means something completely different than for someone in sales.

Market Mix

  • Definition: Type of consumers at the hotel.  Segments. How it is useful?
  • What does the new business travel look like?
    • Rule based? If so, that segment will never change. Spread is a lot wider.  Mix of business and leisure.
    • Each country has a different business segment.  Challenge how we define them…  Why are you asking that?  More spending?
    • Blended travel? How do we detect it?
  • The market mix will change based on external factors — such as the importance of local surroundings. Strategize price and availability based on external factors.  If positioning the destination, then change the positioning of the hotel.
    • Be flexible and quick.

Effective Dashboards

One of the important tools to interpret the gathered data is dashboards.  How do we make sure we have “effective dashboards”?

  • Why did we start with visualization?  It cuts down on the time needed to gather and interpret data. Now it’s too much data and too many dashboards and we see analysis paralysis.
    • How can we shorten time spent at looking at data
    • Is this saving you time?
    • Not how do you get more data — but rather how do you process it all?
    • How do we understand and get the right insight?   We need the right data for each case.
    • How much personalization?  We need expertise to tackle this.
  • Review the source of the data.  How do you tackle people not using data correctly?

Education

What is the importance of education?  I often get hotels reaching out to me about an interpretation they have done in Google analytics. Many times, they take away the wrong message.

  • Each dashboard comes with training (functional and data literacy).  Understand how to use the data correctly.
  • Involve users as a dashboard is being built.  They will then own the dashboard ahead of time.
    • Start with the problem; understand what it is.
  • Think about your mission. How could a dashboard support your business and simplify your business life? What benefits will you gain thanks to the new dashboard details?

No Silos

Having many dashboards and data from different systems often arises because there are silos.

    • 95% of hotels in Italy are independent. They all have their own software solutions and take different approaches.
      • OTA, you know about intranet; STR, you know about their dashboard. Between the various departments, come together to find uniqueness for property.  (Best Western example.) Share data internally.
    • Strive for one version of the truth.  Clarifythe truth, not one system.   Sales = a different thing per department.  They can all be correct.
      • Search for the real truth and find discrepancies.  Does it matter? As long as trends are the same… there is your answer.
      • Accuracy level: If it’s for invoicing, it matters.  If it’s not, then trends are OK.  Find a level of discrepancy that is acceptable.
      • Recognize that you may need to be comfortable with differences across systems.
    • Credibility:  how is that affected?  Once you lose credibility, it can take a long time to get back.
    • Do a gut-check on the dashboard and data.  Create a working group / trusted board for the creation and review of the dashboards.  Will it resonate during all steps of the process?
      • People’s needs change. Change with them. Continue to evolve.

HEDNA Hotel Analytics Working Group
The Hotel Analytics Working Group raises awareness of the opportunities data analysis brings to optimize cost and conversion and thereby empower hoteliers to collect, store, analyze and action their data to make intelligent decisions about their distribution strategies. The group is currently Co-chaired by Matthew Goulden at OTA Insight, Connie Marianacci at Accor and Anisha Yadav at Revinate. Click here to find out more and how to join as a HEDNA member.

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