The term ‘Big Data’ has been a trendy buzzword used among marketers and other professionals for the past few years. So what exactly does the term mean, and how is it vital to the hospitality industry? Big data is defined as a conglomerate of structured and unstructured data. This data is from traditional and digital sources inside and outside of a business. With an overwhelming amount of data available through different sources, it is essential to simplify data, not merely discard it. Hoteliers must ensure that all data collected is accurate for it to be useful for hotel reporting, analytics, and forecasting. The benefits obtained from big data are plentiful in the hospitality industry. These benefits could include better decision-making, stronger customer relationships, operational efficiencies, greater market share, and much more. This is why hoteliers need to understand and utilize data to make well-informed investment decisions to prevent costly mistakes and reduce risk.
A considerable benefit of big data is that it offers enhanced revenue strategy and management. Developing a revenue strategy before managing allows hoteliers to better forecast and examine every analytic in the booking process thoroughly for any flaws or inefficiencies. A well-designed plan provides the opportunity for enhanced price optimization and a greater understanding of customer acquisition/retention costs by various channels. A powerful revenue strategy for hotels should encompass all sales, marketing, and social search optimization (SSO) teams to produce better results. After solidifying your plan, revenue management can then start to take place. An essential role of revenue management is to provide a detailed analysis and support for personalization initiatives. This is so they can ensure these measures are profitable and maintainable. Big data plays an integral part in revealing customer preferences, and also shows whether personalization initiatives are successful or not.
Additionally, enhanced revenue management provides the opportunity for hoteliers to establish optimal room prices. They can also generate higher occupancy rates, ensure rate parity among OTAs, and so much more.
Another notable advantage of big data is that it provides more effective and personalized advertising and services to your customers. With a large volume of guest data available, hoteliers can utilize technology and big data to comprehend the needs and wants of their customers. Hoteliers are encouraged to use the data available to them to make improvements in the guest experience. For example, to deliver better content and service to their customers, they can provide recommendations or experiences. These can match the guest’s preferences, or even allow guests to customize their own experience at the hotel (i.e., local events, on-property activities, etc.). In this highly competitive industry, hoteliers must utilize data to effectively personalize their services and products to their customer base to justify their demand and price point.
Slowly but surely, the entire hospitality industry is harnessing the power of big data to provide actionable insights. It is these actionable insights that stimulate intelligent decisions for the maximum ROI for hotels. It is crucial to keep in mind that, although Big Data provides insightful information, only the human brain can proactively put data into actionable use.