Data can be an invaluable resource for hoteliers, but many don’t consider the challenges that are involved in implementing and analyzing it. When it comes to hotel-specific data, there is a great deal of valuable information available that can be leveraged. This data can be cultivated from an operations perspective, as well as from distribution channels and 3rd party platforms and comes in various formats, such as structured data, semi-structured data and unstructured data. This scenario makes for an incredibly chaotic environment with data that is difficult to aggregate, analyze and ultimately, make actionable.
HEDNA developed a survey that was distributed not only to its own membership base but to hoteliers all over the world. The essence of this organic survey was to gather information regarding the impact of collecting and understanding the plethora of data available to today’s hotelier. The objective is to consult hoteliers about their current electronic distribution practices and their use of distribution data. The survey focuses on electronic distribution channels and the data generated and transported by the computer systems involved. It does not cover off-line distribution such as walk-ins and call centers.
It is now more imperative than ever to fully embrace the data that impacts the hotel industry on a daily basis. The challenges that hoteliers face in managing not only their distribution strategy but fully understanding the costs associated with distribution and 3rd party interactions needs to be met head-on. Having an association like HEDNA targeting this challenge and helping the industry implement best practices is a valuable exercise.
Though many of the insights from the survey were thought-provoking, most are not new to those struggling with data-related challenges that are involved in implementing and analyzing it. Based on responses, data quality and cleanliness is one of the top issues that effects hoteliers. Does this mean that the industry is relying on ineffective data to make business and revenue-driving/strategy decisions? If this is the case, priority must be given to cleaning up every aspect of distribution data that our industry requires to make informed business choices.
The HEDNA Hotel Analytics Working Group has been formed by technology suppliers and hoteliers alike, to raise awareness of the opportunities data analysis can bring. In particular to optimize cost and conversion and, thereby, empower hoteliers to collect, store, analyze, and action their data to make intelligent decisions about their distribution strategies. At the group’s inaugural session, held during the HEDNA conference in Dublin, hoteliers and their system providers recognized that now is the time to start laying the foundations for industry-wide standards and best practices. A survey of today’s hotel data distribution landscape is the starting point for recognizing emerging impediments to optimizing distribution and developing strategies to remove them.
Finally, HEDNA will be holding its Annual European Conference in Lisbon, 4-6th June. The event is open to non-members and the HEDNA Analytics Working Group will be hosting a session to help it develop best practice recommendations for the industry to make optimum use of the myriad of distribution data, hoteliers are able to access, but may not making best use of in distribution decision making.