After the initial introduction, we are going to continue analysing, with the help of our expert, Alberto Scappini, the potential of Big Data in the hotel industry. Its dangers, the benefits when it comes to clients, or the tools that are used to process the large amount of information.
All investment comes with a risk. According to eMarketer 6.800 million dollars will be invested between now and 2018.
What are the dangers and how can they be minimized? What limits does Big Data have?
The danger is implementing a complex system that does not yield the expected return, wasting the scarce resources that are presently available in the hotel sector.
We need to evaluate if there are other priorities to be taken care of before Big Data and not just implement a Big Data system for the sake of it, rather make sure it fits into the company’s competitive strategy
If the answer is yes, we must set clear objectives, that is to say, what we want to achieve, and therefore the data we will need to achieve those objectives. However, I think that in most cases, to minimize the risk, one solution is to implement a Business Intelligence system that integrates and analyses the data that the company tends to deal with (bookings, surveys, marketing campaigns etc.) and then integrate plug and play solutions to this system that are able to externally process large amounts of non-structured data (such as online comments, social networks, prices, etc.) and integrate these into the hotel’s Business Intelligence system in a logical, structured way.
An Amadeus report reduced Big Data management to three possibilities: an optimal business management, well considered decisions, and better relations with the clients.
How can it help optimize these points?
I will use some examples to explain each point. Optimal business management: It is possible to install sensors in a hotel to monitor the hotel’s functioning and detect faults or problems as well as to automate processes. Considered decisions: have access to data analysis of the competition’s process, or sector trends that can optimize the decisions taken by revenue management. Then with client relations: capture and organize information from social networks, telephone calls, emails, chats etc., in a client’s unique profile, this improves the quality of our customer care.
What other aspects would the correct administration of Big Data affect?
I think the point that will be most affected is an improved client experience. Knowing not only the demographic details and behaviour but also interesting personal data, attitudes, relationships, etc.
Big Data allows us to fully personalize the service and exceed clients’ expectations. Also it allows us to send out one to one campaigns which are more appealing to the client, therefore achieving a higher conversion rate and return for the hotel
It will be possible for this new asset to generate if the proper tools are used in each case.
Do these tools have names in the hotel sector?
All the large companies with BI tools already offer Big Data solutions (Sap, IBM, SAS, ORACLE, etc.), and there are many independent consultants that use the same solutions or open source systems to set up Big Data system analysis (solution used by NH Hotels). However, there are some simpler, more specific solutions that allow us to individually integrate different aspects of Big Data, like for example the online reputation tool (TrustYou) or price analysis and disparity tools.
Even though there is still much to discover about Big Data, it is undeniable that it has become a very advantageous reality. Especially when it comes to offering guests more personalized stays. A job that can only be achieved through proper processing of the Big Data.