Hotels & Hospitality Industry Benefitting from Data Visualization & Analytics
Across the globe, the hotels & hospitality sector caters to millions of travelers every day, and each one of them checks in with their own set of expectations. Meeting those expectations is the key to getting people to return, and increasingly hotel and leisure operators are relying upon visualization technology and turning to advanced analytics solutions for clues about how to keep their customers happy.
Additionally, although their marketing departments would be loathe admit it, not all guests are equal in the eyes of hotel and leisure operators. Some will simply check in and check out with a minimum of fuss. Others will spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on fine dining, entertainments, sports activities and spa treatments. Identifying those customers with a higher overall lifetime value to a particular business is hugely important in today’s market, but a customer’s lifetime value might not be empirically obvious from observing their behavior during one visit.
For example, a high-rolling customer spending money like it is going out of fashion in the hotel casino may be on a ‘holiday of a lifetime’ following retirement, and unlikely to behave in this way every day. Meanwhile a frugal business customer taking an economy room and spending very little on extra services may be a travelling businessman who will potentially return frequently if the hotel meets his needs, and therefore have a higher lifetime value. Data Visualization & Analytics can help make this distinction.
Analytics for Hotels
A third overarching use of analytics in the hotel industry revolves around “yield management”. This is the process of ensuring that each room attracts the optimal price – taking into account troughs and peaks in demand throughout the year as well as other factors, such as weather and local events, which can influence the number and type of guests checking in.
Analytics has applications in all of these areas and although the hotels & hospitality sector has lagged behind others such as retail and manufacturing in adopting an analytics-first philosophy, which could be starting to change.
Hotels can also use Data Visualization technologies and solutions to bring together transactional and customer data across their chains, and combine it with unstructured data such as customer feedback comments and reviews left on rating sites. Every hotel has massive amounts of data – it is what one does with that data – such as providing relevant dashboards, click through deep dive actionable reporting and analytical insight that can foster a competitive edge.
After evaluating customer feedback and transactional data, the hotels can take strategic, data-driven decisions to rearrange many of their rooms to better cater to either business or leisure travelers, provide more bathroom storage for rooms popular with travelling families, and provide a greater range of in-room facilities such as kitchenettes where guests would appreciate them.
Hotels & Hospitality, aim
Of course as in most industries, a majority of analytical work in the hotels & hospitality industry is focused on marketing. The overall aim is often to launch personalized marketing campaigns in the form of email or targeted social media advertising. This involves analyzing all of the information available about customers who are visiting, by gathering customer feedback, transactional activity, use of loyalty programs and bought-in third party demographic data. This is then used to decide whether, for example, an offer of a free restaurant meal, or a ticket for a show at a nearby theater is more likely to persuade a high lifetime-value customer to make a booking.
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