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Data Management: 3 problems hoteliers face and how to solve them

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Data is a big concept. And talking about using data in hospitality can mean different things. No wonder this usually scares hoteliers away. However, it still remains as one of the biggest truths that your guest data is your biggest asset and it can help you to achieve more goals than you imagine.

Your data is not only your source of truth, but also the entrance to your guests’ world, what helps you to understand who is coming to your property and why, and how to attract more people like them.

Every business generates a massive amount of data every day, but within the hospitality sector, the volume, complexity, and pace at which data flows can be overwhelming. For hotels— big and small— data is a crucial resource that needs to be managed carefully for smooth operations.

This has proven not to be an easy task and there are different problems and challenges that arise when we talk about data management. In this article, we will explore three of the most common challenges and how to solve them.

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Challenge 1: Scattered data across systems

It’s common for hotels to use different tools and platforms for each department. The reception might use one system for reservations, the housekeeping another for managing room statuses, and a separate tool is used by the restaurant for meal orders.

It is also very common that these systems don’t interact with each other, which creates data silos that don’t allow you to have a general overview and bigger understanding of your guests.

For example, your guest data might be stored in different places such as PMS, CRM, loyalty programs, social media channels, among others. This alone forces you to take some time to manually send data from one system to the other, in order to have some clarity.

Having data scattered across systems not only gives you more manual work but also prevents you from focusing on how to use that data and getting more learnings about your guests and your operations.

Ideally, you should have one source of truth. This means all your data should go into one system that can give you an overview of everything, allowing you to make data-driven decisions.

How to solve challenge number 1? Centralise your guest data

Using a Customer Data Platform (CDP). A CDP acts as a centralised hub that integrates data from various sources, providing a holistic view of guest information and enabling hotels to leverage it effectively.

A CDP can integrate your guest information from different sources, such as PMS, CRM and online review platforms, improving data accuracy and enhancing the overall guest profile.

 

Let’s say one of your guests has stayed at your hotel multiple times, but each time they book through a different channel. With a CDP, now you can access a holistic view of the guest’s data, understand the preferences and send them personalised messages.

Challenge 2: A dirty database

When you have data scattered in different systems, it’s easier to create data discrepancies, and open possibilities for human errors when you try to organise them. For example, instead of having one Michael Miles, you have 10 Michael Miles with the same email but different phone numbers and home addresses.

 

Inaccurate, out of date, or irrelevant data can create a ‘dirty’ database. This can have a significant influence on your relationship with your guests as well as on your marketing efforts. How do you know if your campaign is reaching the right people if all the profiles are messed up?

A ‘dirty’ guest database could play tricks on you. It might mix the guest preferences and you end up offering a lavish honeymoon suite for an elderly who would be content with a cosy, small room. In conclusion, it is not worth risking having a dirty guest database.

How to solve challenge number 2? Update your guest data

A CDP can automatically validate and correct guest data, ensuring accuracy and integrity. It can also enrich the database by appending missing information, such as contact details or preferences, from various sources.

By regularly cleansing and enriching the guest database, you can now send targeted marketing campaigns based on the right data to the right person.

For example, demographic guest data helps you understand where your guests come from, how old they are etc., so you can send customised recommendations based on their preferences. And website behaviour data allows you to identify where guests stay or leave, enabling you to adapt your websites accordingly.

Interested in learning about other types of data and how they can be used to boost your marketing efforts? Read it here.

Challenge 3: Data security

Hotel data can be incredibly sensitive, including personal, credit card, and travel information. Thus, protecting sensitive guest information is not only a legal requirement but also crucial for maintaining guest trust.

Guest data breaches not only lead to losses but can permanently tarnish the hotel brand’s reputation.

How to solve challenge number 3? Ensure data security

A reputable CDP provides robust security measures, including data encryption, access controls, and regular audits. It ensures that guest data is safely stored and only accessible to authorised personnel.

Furthermore, a CDP helps hotels comply with data regulations by providing features like data deletion, consent management, and data subject access requests.

There’s much more that a CDP can help you with: optimise your revenue, improve your operational efficiency, build guest loyalty etc. Get to know more in this article.

Conclusion

By now, it is evident that a CDP is the key solution to address the data management challenges faced by hotels. A CDP enables the integration of scattered data, cleanses and enriches the guest database, and ensures data security.

Yet, it can be difficult to choose the right one for your hotel. Remember to consider factors such as ease of integration with your existing systems, scalability, and compatibility with data regulations. Then, you can just sit back and watch your marketing campaigns being opened and appreciated!

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Tags: 3 problems, Data management, hoteliers, solve

Commercial Director, United Kingdom

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Bookboost helps you to use your guest data to deliver amazing experiences.

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