The term “Big Data” is intimidating. Big implies that there is a large volume of high-velocity data – like what flows from orbiting satellites measuring hundreds of factors that define weather patterns around the world. Now, that is big data. Hospitality doesn’t necessarily need big data – it needs the right data.
Executives who are responsible for bottom-line results and budget ROI want more than their own data repurposed in charts and graphs. GMs, revenue managers and marketing directors are looking for intelligence that goes beyond what they can see in their own PMS and Google Analytics reports. They’re hungry for something different that will feed decision-making in new, more competitive ways. They’re looking for new data.
There are ways to avoid the paralysis of analysis inherent in big data and win at the “last mile challenge” of putting data into action. Hoteliers actually need to derive small insights from big data, as incremental insights are easily actionable and can add up to big results down the line.
Before you can begin to take action, it’s important to freshen your outlook with new data. To get new insight, you need a new perspective. There are at least three options for establishing a new data view:
1. Leveraging insights from new data sources
There’s a wide range of intelligence providers for the hotel industry that move beyond the traditional views of GDS or “on the books” trends. Look for new and different data sources that can add a new angle to your market and consumer analysis, including travel intent, persona behavior, and mobile usage in market – to name a few. This approach is the most adventurous and will likely yield the most reward.
2. Combining existing data with new data sources
Both big and small operations are getting more sophisticated with their data analytics. They have hired revenue and marketing pros with backgrounds in data who can complement current data sources with new data to curate an elevated understanding of their market and target consumer. Combining the best of each data set provides balance and validation of direction, but requires expertise in-house to interpret and act on conclusions.
3. Accessing a databank managed by partners or suppliers
Partners at every level of hospitality operations and consumer outreach are seeing the value of data-driven decisions. So, they are incorporating new data sources as a value add for their solutions. Whether it’s travel intent with your RMS or demographic insights with your media buy, data makes an application smarter. This approach is often the simplest way for hoteliers to start leveraging data. Although the databank perspective may be the most biased, it’s a simple start with minimal risk and maximum handholding.
Once data sources are established, the secret to success with new data is to focus on getting small insights. Start with getting simple answers to simple questions. Then, incremental progress will help reveal creative solutions to the biggest business issues – one step at a time.
About the author
Rich Maradik is the Founderof nSight, a company that combines the world’s largest view of consumer shopping data with predictive marketing and revenue management solutions to deliver more guests to your hotel and visitors to your destination. nSight aggregates more than 85 million travel consumer shops and bookings daily across over 5,000 third-party travel websites. This article is an excerpt from a recent presentation he gave a Cvent Connect. For a copy of the full presentation, click here.