Massive amounts of data are being created daily, more than ever before; and without the right tools it’s impossible for any single person to make sense of it all, let alone turn that data into something usable. Commonly known as big data, it’s a simple name belying the complexity of the modern information age.
Big data is just like it sounds. Lots and lots of information streams that may or may not appear to be interconnected. The challenge for hoteliers is taking multiple extremely large data sets, then boiling them down into usable chunks of information. In essence, revenue managers have to separate actionable data from noise and then translate it all into valuable information to formalize strategies for the rest of the organization. Not easy five years ago, even harder today.
Big data is opening up myriad information categories that can now be considered to set more accurate strategies, rates, forecasts – you name it. Rather than just looking at one set in isolation (e.g. comp set pricing), hoteliers have entirely new data-rich sources from which to garner information. Many are either newly-created data sets, or were never able to be effectively used before.
New data sets to leverage
Here are some new data sets that traditionally haven’t been considered or are currently being neglected, but must be leveraged today to arrive at an optimized decision:
User-generated reviews and content are typically a place customers seek out information. People love to know what others think of a property before committing to a stay. It helps them form a picture in their mind.
There’s a wealth of information here revenue managers can use, such as understanding the relation between review site rankings, and how that translates into a commanding and getting a specific price. Understanding the sentiment and tone of voice – emotional or factual. Understanding the real reasons as to why someone chose your hotel over another.
Reviews are about elevating your strengths once known; understanding your weaknesses – turning them into opportunities – and infusing all that information into your pricing process.
Vacation and peer-to-peer rentals
Emerging threat, opportunity, or something else entirely? Many different opinions out there.
Fact is though: Vacation Rental data insight arms hoteliers with a glimpse into this somewhat separate world. By better understanding the many types and styles of units selling within a market, and for how much they are selling for on any given night, revenue managers glean deeper awareness into pricing thresholds for their specific hotel product.
Understanding all the options travelers have when coming near you provides you with insights into how to differentiate yourself from the direct and indirect competition, not only through price, but by the products you offer.
Inbound destination data
No matter where a hotel is located, understanding the number of travelers coming into that market in a specific period greatly affects your actions. There is no magic data set that will give you all the answers but start thinking bigger.
Think international arrivals and increase/ decrease in seasonal flight schedules for island destinations. Think major conventions’ impact on the city’s “typical” market behavior. Think changes in political orientation, tightening of labor control. Think macro.
Typically, hoteliers don’t have complete insight into how many people are physically arriving daily into their destination yet understanding inbound destination data opens up opportunities for revenue managers to monetize on the additional information.
Managing new data sets
Whilst a revenue manager can derive insights from data sets and therefore start making progress in optimizing performance, understand and finding the connections between new sets is nearly impossible. The only way therefore is to deploy technology and what is commonly known as machine learning (ML).
ML-powered revenue management technology takes new and increasingly voluminous amounts of data, turning seemingly disparate information points into extremely accurate, actionable recommendations observed in your forecast and pricing behavior. Like us, machine-learning-enabled technology adapts and learns – yet faster and with more accuracy.
To learn more about the power of machine learning and how it opens up the ability to capitalize on new data streams, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Team LodgIQ