It should come as no surprise that hospitality business intelligence is fast becoming the most sought-after technology in the hotel industry. And why not! Expecting miracles by merely collecting data is not the smartest way to go about doing things, today. Exploiting all the available BI technologies to derive insights that are most relevant to you, at the right time is what will fetch you results.
But here’s the catch. Even though it has become a buzzword, have we ever truly understood what Business Intelligence means, and why adoption of BI in hotel industry is as important?
What is Business Intelligence?
“The term Business Intelligence (BI) refers to technologies, applications and practices for the collection, integration, analysis, and presentation of business information. The purpose of Business Intelligence is to support better business decision making.” (Source)
That’s BI in a nutshell for you. But let’s try and get a deeper for more specific understanding of this term and how it is interpreted in today’s business world.
“Business intelligence, as it is understood today, uses technology to gather and analyze data, translate it into useful information, and act on it “before the competition.” Essentially, the modern version of BI focuses on technology as a way to make decisions quickly and efficiently, based on the right information at the right time.” (Source)
Why should hotels invest in Business Intelligence?
Here are five reasons you must invest in a Hospitality Business Intelligence tool from a strategic point of view.
1. Get a hold on your past, present & future
Big data analytics for hotels allows you to juxtapose historical data, current data and predictive analysis. This gives an unrestrained and a broader perspective of all your business data. Whether it is to learn from the past or to plan for the future, you need this kind of an approach for your hotel to run efficiently. Hospitality business Intelligence tools also allow you to compare various metrics, across any timeline. This is crucial for hotel management to understand if or not their strategy is efficient and gives them the option to intervene at the right time to avoid glitches in the future. Think about occupancy rates, pricing strategy or even the volume of reservation coming in from a certain source- you get to have an informed opinion on all these factors which contribute to the success or failure of your business and work accordingly.
2. Do more with data than just ‘collection’
In business, the difference between visionaries and also-rans is what they each do with the data they have. Collecting data has become the norm, so no brownie points there! How you choose to interpret this data- the analysis, the slicing & dicing and the insights that come out of that data is where true potential lies.
Why business Intelligence tools are important for hotels is exactly for this reason- they give you the edge to deep-dive into all the data you collect at your hotel. Be it guest data, your income-expense sheets, your staff data, data relating to your POS outlets, reservation data, etc. It puts them in perspective for you in such a way that you can act on the shortcomings and step up all the other aspects that are already working for you.
The point of hotel business intelligence is to make amends to the already existing strategy, so you can reduce your operational costs, increase your revenue and find ways to make your business an all-around success.
3. Move from Chaos to context
A lot of PMSs today, come with in-built reporting features. Hotelogix supports over 100 reporting options to help hoteliers find all the data relating to their hotel ‘at-a-glance’. While this feature does help hoteliers in keeping track of what’s happening in the hotel, the primary function is not data analysis. These are reports which state what is what. Interpreting these reports and deriving insights manually can be very time-consuming. Think about it this way- just how many of these 100 reports are you going to manually dissect and make sense of? How chaotic would that get?! The very thought of it is exhausting, isn’t it!
This is where BI technologies come into play. A PMS that allows integration with a BI tool is all you need to take your business to the next level. While the PMS itself can handle and automate most of your operational activities, the BI tool can provide you with the right insights at the right time, so you can take the lead when compared to your competitors. Everything from revenue management to pricing strategies, occupancy forecasts will be made available to you, basis your historical and current data. No more chaos to throw you off gear. Hotel Business Intelligence tools give you the luxury of context, so you can achieve your target with a lot more clarity and insights.
4. Goodbye to silos, hello to holistic strategy
When you have a hospitality business intelligence tool integrated with your Cloud Hotel PMS, you will no longer have to look at your hotel as a cluster of departments. Working in silos may be required for tactical purposes. But as a hotelier, the best way to ensure that your hotel does well is by looking at it as one single unit. Each department within your hotel acts like a cog in the machine.
Why hotels are investing in business intelligence is because they allow the management to get a holistic view of the business. This way, you can implement resolutions to issues that are affecting your hotel’s overall performance and success.
5. Act on the insights to build a sustainable business
Consider this for an example:
Your hotel gets bookings from multiple sources- Website, Walk-ins, OTAs, GDS, Local Travel Agents, etc. And you want to find out which of these is the most lucrative option for your hotel over a certain period of time.
With a hotel BI tool linked to your PMS, you can get this data in the blink of an eye. It will deep dive into all the booking data you have stored from all your sources and can graphically represent how much business each of these sources has brought you, over the selected time-period. Such data is important to your business because you may be spending heavily on a certain OTA whose ROI is negligible or even zero. With this data, you can confidently terminate your association with the OTA in question and save on a lot of money.
All these aside, BI tools also help you immensely in benchmarking. They show you where you lag when compared to your competitors and give you suggestions on how to not only bridge that gap but also overtake them. Taking into account all these reasons, the adoption of business intelligence in hotels is as crucial as it is smart, in the coming future.