Distribution data is an invaluable resource for hoteliers, but many don’t consider the challenges that are involved in implementing and analyzing it. The hotel industry has an enviable variety and volume of data to work with. Every customer leaves a data trail from the moment they begin their search, then complete a booking to the moment they check out. However, accessing and analyzing data generated across today’s complex distribution landscape and turning it into actionable insights is challenging for hoteliers of all sizes. To become more data-driven, hoteliers must make targeted investments in traditional and emerging analytics tools, processes and skills. This requires an appreciation of the bigger data picture and the options and approaches available. HEDNA’s Hotel Analytics Working Group has just released a white paper to address this need. “Investing in Hotel Analytics” outlines the key factors hoteliers should consider when making investment choices to improve their analytics capabilities.
This is the backdrop to the collaboration taking place among HEDNA members that include travel technology suppliers and hotel companies. The Hotel Analytics Working Group was formed to:
- Raise awareness of how electronic distribution data is being used (survey)
- Identify opportunities for improvements in data usage and analytics (this paper)
- Recommend best industry practices (to be published later this year).
The group’s first paper, documenting the findings of an extensive survey into the distribution landscape, is the foundation for this second paper which details the considerations for “Investing in Hotel Analytics”.
With analytics, hotel companies can achieve new levels of precision in their distribution channel mix to optimize occupancy, rate and profits. While the value in analytics is recognized, many hoteliers are unsure how to make the most of their data. Investment in platforms, tools and skills is required that companies may not have experience in. Every hotel company is different, so there is no one size fits all, but this paper explains the key considerations for taking a data vision to reality, with some practical advice.
After a general introduction to the various types of analytics, the paper details seven fundamental factors that underpin any adoption or strengthening of analytics across an organization:
- Use Cases – these are helpful examples in guiding not only the questions that analytics needs to answer, but also what data is required and from which source. (Section 5)
- Data Integration – outlining the five considerations when using and integrating data from multiple source systems, such as booking trend analysis and revenue reporting. (Section 6)
- Data Quality – getting correct and complete data to analyse is critical to getting the right answers. This section addresses a data quality framework. (Section 7)
- Data Storage – managing capacity and data volume for the entire information lifecycle. A data storage framework encompasses data security, data privacy, and data retention, all of which are critical to get right. (Section 8)
- Data Access – who has access to what data needs to be carefully monitored and controlled in the context of privacy, regulation and security. This is also about empowering the right users to query the data, while not burdening others with more than they need, and the framework for feeding other data systems for advanced analytics as needed. (Section 9)
- Analytics Skillsets – having the right people with the right skillsets to analyze and apply the data in the right way. This section addresses the merits of developing in-house skills as well as how to develop outsourced relationships with data specialists where resources are limited. (Section 10)
- Analytics Tools -- getting the right tools that match business needs to facilitate the transition from reactive to more pro-active decision-making based on real data is the crux in making the right investment choices. This section covers a checklist of considerations for users and other stakeholders. (Section 11)
This paper offers some basic help and hands-on guidance to help hoteliers make considered investments in the development of their analytic capabilities to meet the diverse and complex demands of today’s competitive hospitality climate. The full 33 page report can be downloaded here from the HEDNA website.
More about HEDNA Hotel Analytics Working Group
The Working Group is co-chaired by travel experts from Triometric, Excella and NTTData while direct liaison with the HEDNA Board is provided by IDeaS. Hotel companies who are members include Accor, IHG, Wyndham, WorldHotels and Rosewood. About 50 HEDNA member companies, consultants and academics are active in the Group’s discussions and work program. A number of them have contributed their industry expertise to the “Survey Findings Report” (published 2018) and this new paper “Investing in Hotel Analytics”. The next phase of the Working Group is to explore and document Best Practice recommendations.
HEDNA (Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association) was founded in 1991 and is dedicated to the advancement of hospitality distribution through strategic collaboration and knowledge sharing. The next HEDNA Distribution Conference takes place in Madrid, 21 – 22 May.