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The BIG Data Trend Part 2: Raising the Bar for Guest Experiences

Jan 09, 2017

How Hotels Capture Quality Data

The first step is to select business platforms and systems that can collect all the data at each phase of guest interaction, from pre-arrival, during the stay and post-departure. The right hospitality technology platform, such as a PMS, is capable of collecting this essential data at every touch point. The right technology captures data via onsite as well as from mobile devices, leveraging the most advanced technology to serve guests across the property.

From arrival and check-in to room service, spa services, dining experiences, golf outings and show reservations, hotels who employ the right PMS technologies have a holistic view of the guest throughout the lifecycle. This not only provides the obvious advantage of more quality data, it also minimizes the sheer number of systems required to maintain this 360-degree view of the guest. And reducing the number of management systems reduces the incidence of data duplication or errors.

Open Data Access - The Role of RESTful APIs

One of the most important pre-requisites in a PMS is to have systems that can easily and quickly communicate with each other. This creates actionable insights, and ultimately drives more offers to encourage guests to spend more on what they already want. However, collecting data with the right PMS is just the first step. Integrating, understanding and fine-tuning the data is next. For years, there have been many approaches to connecting systems - including mobile devices – seeking to provide a unified view across systems. The result has been the development and acceptance of open PMS communication and integration standards, based on technology like RESTfuls APIs, that improve ease-of-use and provide a more consistent interpretation of the data. 

Predictive Analytics is the Buried Treasure in Your Data

Big data might be the new tool, but understanding your own products, services and guests is essential. Certain questions need to be answered first: How are we going to make money with this? How will the model be deployed? What does the data look like? How fast do the predictions need to be? How often do we need to update the model? How will the new output be used? How will we introduce change in the process?

Many hospitality technology solutions were not built with analytics in mind. And until today, hoteliers had to cleanse and prepare the data themselves before it could be leveraged in predictive modeling.

A few tips to consider before embarking on a predictive analytics initiative:

  1. Choose a PMS must be capable of capturing domain knowledge - that is, your products and guests – as well as interface with other systems using RESTful APIs.
  2. Execute a data governance process that will allow for data standardization among internal groups.
  3. Select a guest engagement area to pilot
  4. Consider partnering with a vendor who has experience executing these types of projects.
  5. Balance your partner selection with a focus on analytical ability not just industry knowledge.

The use of data-driven predictive analytics has proven to reveal guest insights that wouldn’t otherwise be available; creating product and service recommendations that result in the greatest likelihood of receiving a positive guest response.

Guest expectations have risen. And the bar for meeting those expectations has been raised with them. The digital and mobile transformation we’re experiencing, combined with the sheer volume of data being collected, offers a gold mine of revenue opportunities for hotels of all sizes. The insights data provides is so much more than a complete view of guests’ identities, preferences and behaviors. Combined with big data and predictive analytics, hotels are learning to harness their data effectively and offer up more unique, differentiating experiences for their guests. When hotels offer this caliber of service, they inspire greater loyalty and grow revenue with ease.

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