Hotels using commercial analytics grow revenue faster - Insights
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Hotels using commercial analytics grow revenue faster

Hotels have a wealth of data waiting to be analyzed, leading to insights to improve decision-making. In addition, bringing all the data into one system will enhance the insights about correlations between many variables to grow revenue and profits.

The most effective approach to commercial analytics is typically holistic, taking a cross-functional view of data and analytics. The method involves breaking down silos between departments and integrating data and insights from different areas of the organization, such as revenue management, marketing, sales, and operations. A holistic approach to commercial analytics allows hotels to gain a more complete and accurate picture of their business and to make better-informed decisions based on insights from across the organization. This approach also allows for more effective collaboration between different departments, as teams can work together to develop integrated strategies that consider the organization’s needs and objectives. Here is how a hotel can implement commercial analytics, starting with the definition.

What is commercial analytics?

In the hotel industry, commercial analytics involves analyzing data related to all revenue sources, hotel operations, and customer behavior to make informed decisions and optimize business performance. This can include various activities, such as analyzing sales and revenue data, tracking customer behavior and preferences, monitoring competitor pricing and performance, and optimizing marketing and distribution strategies. Some specific examples of commercial analytics in hotels include.

  • Revenue Management involves analyzing sales and revenue data to optimize room rates and inventory to maximize revenue and profitability. This includes demand forecasting, dynamic pricing, and inventory optimization techniques.
  • Customer Analytics involves analyzing customer data to understand preferences, behavior, and patterns. This can include analyzing data from loyalty programs, online reviews, social media, and customer transaction data to identify opportunities for upselling and cross-selling.
  • Marketing Analytics involves analyzing data related to marketing campaigns and distribution channels to optimize marketing strategies and improve conversion rates. This includes analyzing website traffic, social media engagement, email marketing campaigns, and tracking the performance of online travel agencies (OTAs) and other distribution channels.

Commercial analytics in hotels is about leveraging data to improve business performance and drive growth by making informed decisions based on insights and data-driven strategies.

Take a 360-degree view

The 360-degree view of commercial activities refers to a comprehensive and integrated analysis of all aspects of the hotel business that impact commercial performance. Here are some critical components of a 360-degree view of commercial activities.
  1. Revenue management: Analyzing room rates, inventory, and demand to optimize pricing and revenue.
  2. Marketing and distribution: Analyzing marketing campaigns, website traffic, and OTA performance to optimize distribution strategies and increase bookings.
  3. Sales: Analyzing sales data, performance metrics, and customer behavior to identify opportunities for upselling and cross-selling.
  4. Customer experience: Analyzing customer feedback, online reviews, and loyalty program data to optimize the customer experience and drive repeat business.
  5. Competitive intelligence: Analyzing concepts, reviews, performance, and pricing of competitors to inform pricing and marketing strategies.
  6. Operations: Analyzing operational data, such as housekeeping, maintenance, food & beverage, meetings, spa, etc., to identify revenue, efficiency, and cost savings opportunities.

To achieve a 360-degree view of commercial activities, it is essential to integrate data and insights from all these business areas. This requires breaking down silos between departments and establishing a culture of data-driven decision-making across the organization. Taking a comprehensive and integrated approach to commercial analytics, hotels can better understand their business and make better-informed decisions that drive performance and growth.

Challenges

While commercial analytics can bring significant benefits to hotels, several challenges can make it difficult to implement effectively. Here are some critical challenges hotels may face when implementing commercial analytics.

  • Data quality and availability: Commercial analytics requires high-quality, accurate, timely data, but hotels may struggle to collect and integrate data from disparate systems and sources. Poor data quality or availability can lead to inaccurate or incomplete analysis, negatively impacting decision-making.
  • Data silos and fragmentation: Hotels may have data and analytics silos, with different departments or systems collecting and analyzing data independently. This can lead to fragmented insights and difficulty integrating data for a comprehensive business view.
  • Analytics talent and capabilities: To make the most of commercial analytics, hotels need skilled data analysts and data scientists who can extract insights from data and translate them into actionable recommendations. However, finding and retaining such talent can be challenging and expensive.
  • Resistance to change: Implementing commercial analytics may require processes, culture, and organizational structure changes. Resistance to change from employees or stakeholders can impede the adoption and implementation of analytics initiatives.
  • Integration with existing systems: Commercial analytics requires integration with existing technology systems, such as property management systems (PMS), customer relationship management systems (CRM), point of sale systems (POS), and revenue management systems (RMS). Integrating these systems can be complex and time-consuming, especially if they are from different vendors.
  • Cost and ROI: Implementing commercial analytics can require significant technology, talent, and training investment. Hotels may need to justify these costs with a clear understanding of the expected return on investment (ROI) and the long-term benefits of analytics.

Overall, while there are challenges to implementing commercial analytics in hotels, these challenges can be overcome with careful planning, investment in the right technology and talent, and a commitment to data-driven decision-making across the organization.

Implementation plan

Implementing commercial analytics in a hotel requires a well-planned and well-executed implementation plan. Here’s a step-by-step outline of an implementation plan for commercial analytics in a hotel.

  1. Identify business objectives: The first step in implementing commercial analytics is identifying the hotel’s goals. These objectives could include improving revenue management, increasing direct bookings, or enhancing the customer experience.
  2. Assess current data capabilities: The hotel should assess its current data capabilities, including the data sources and systems in use, data quality, and the availability of skilled data analysts or data scientists. This assessment will inform the design of the analytics infrastructure.
  3. Develop an analytics infrastructure: The hotel should develop an analytics infrastructure that includes data storage and processing capabilities and software tools for data visualization and analytics. In addition, the infrastructure should be designed to integrate data from multiple sources and systems.
  4. Collect and integrate data: The hotel should collect and integrate data from all relevant sources, including property management systems, sales & catering systems, point of sale systems, customer relationship management systems, revenue management systems, and other internal and external systems.
  5. Develop analytics models and processes: The hotel should develop analytics models and processes allowing data-driven decision-making. These models and methods could include demand forecasting, pricing optimization, customer segmentation, and campaign tracking.
  6. Train staff: The hotel should train staff to use the analytics infrastructure and interpret data-driven insights. This will help ensure that employees can effectively use analytics to drive business performance.
  7. Test and refine: The hotel should test the analytics infrastructure, models, and processes to ensure they deliver accurate and actionable insights. The hotel should also refine the infrastructure and models over time to ensure they continue to meet the needs of the business.
  8. Establish data governance and security protocols: The hotel should establish data governance and security protocols to ensure that data is adequately protected and data usage complies with regulations.
  9. Monitor and evaluate results: The hotel should continuously monitor and assess the effects of commercial analytics, using metrics such as revenue growth, average revenue per guest, and customer satisfaction. This will allow the hotel to refine its analytics approach and ensure it continues to drive business performance.

Overall, implementing commercial analytics in a hotel requires a carefully designed implementation plan tailored to the hotel’s specific needs and objectives. Following a structured approach, the hotel can successfully implement commercial analytics and benefit from data-driven decision-making.

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CEO

Anders is the CEO of Demand Calendar – a system with 100+ functions for management and the commercial team to plan, track and optimize all hotel revenue streams. With 30+ years in leading positions in hotels and restaurants, Anders started to apply rev…

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Demand Calendar is an integrated marketing, sales, and revenue management software for hotels of all sizes.

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