The hospitality industry is embracing business intelligence (BI) and, by doing so, reaping many benefits. Using analytics and big data, hotels, bed and breakfast inns, and other hospitality facilities are able to better analyze booking patterns, performance of promotions and advertising, and measure consumer satisfaction. Let’s take a look at how BI in the hospitality industry is beneficial.
Seven Ways to Benefit
Prior to the use of BI software in the hospitality industry, data was usually gathered via Excel or other similar programs. Statistics such as maximums and minimums for business for a certain day of the week, the sales for last year, and the average amount of cancellations would all be used to determine how well a business was doing. Prone to errors and inaccurate data, the process has been markedly improved through the use of business intelligence. With BI providing a complete, accurate, and integrated data repository, the hospitality industry has vastly improved. Some of the benefits BI provides are:
- Easy Access to Data – information from multiple sources and locations is collected and incorporated into an easily understood format, thus giving everyone in the organization, including non-tech users, the ability to understand the data and determine factors that drive daily activities.
- Monitoring Inventory – If you are managing a hotel, you need to know things like how many spare towels are in stock? How many bottles of shampoo do we need to order? How many bars of soap were used last month? Business Intelligence is extremely beneficial when evaluating supplies, tracking spending, and developing strategies to reduce spending and impulse buying.
- Marketing Improvement – Using BI allows business owners and managers to help determine the success rates of direct mail campaigns, advertisements, and rewards programs. They can then tailor their marketing efforts directly to specific guests in specific locations. Once this knowledge is obtained, it can be used in future promotions.
- Enhancing the Guest Experience – The most important people in the hospitality industry are unequivocally the guests. By integrating BI, hotels and other hospitality businesses are able to create detailed guest profiles, including itineraries, interests, and preferences of guests. The ability to anticipate the needs of guests allows for more personalized service which in turn will increase customer loyalty and aid in building long-term relationships.
- Decision-Making Improvement – Readily available and understandable analytical data allows managers to make well-informed and knowledgeable business decisions quickly and efficiently.
- Faster Response Times – BI gives owners and managers the ability to view reports daily instead of weekly or monthly, thus enabling a quicker response to even the most unpredictable situation. The capability to drill down information into operative data and customized reporting provide a clearer picture of exactly what is happening in the business. Armed with this information, owners and managers can immediately make adjustments that affect business performance, rather than having to wait.
- Identifying Problem Areas – Problems such as poor performance and fraud are much more easily identified using BI to uncover problem areas. Without BI, these areas may often go unchecked.
The Bottom Line
Competition is fierce and guests increasingly expect superior and personalized guest experiences and services. By harnessing the power of BI, an owner or manager can help ensure success, now and in the future. Accurately utilizing the wealth of information accumulated will help to better understand performance, cut costs, and build long-lasting relationships with guests.