In the drive to optimize both revenue and profit from every hotel room, every time, hotels are increasingly turning to business intelligence solutions to streamline their data.
For smaller chains, who are time and resource-constrained, these platforms provide a fast and effective way to gain a full picture of their performance and identify actions to improve both net RevPAR and GOPPAR.
Reducing the time and effort spent on manually analyzing data in siloed systems frees-up the hotel’s Revenue Manager to focus on becoming a strategic partner – better communicating critical data insights across teams and with the executive board and delivering the hotel’s business priorities for sustained success.
It’s important to find the right solution for your hotel chain. Here we explore the key steps to choosing your business intelligence partner.
1. Choose a partner, not a product
On paper, many of the leading business intelligence tools deliver similar functionality but the reality can be very different. While functionality is critical so too is the relationship you forge with your provider’s team. Finding a technology partner who has in-depth experience in the hospitality industry and understands the unique challenges of managing hotels will become a trusted advisor, helping you get the most out of the solution and help you achieve your strategic goals.
Identify a provider who will be able to effectively guide you and your team through initial implementation and provide excellent customer support for the long-term.
2. Be clear on the business challenges you want to solve
Most business intelligence projects fail because hotels are not clear from the outset on what business problems, they are trying to solve. Having better access to your data is only beneficial if you have a clear plan for how you want to use it and what insights you want to achieve.
This means the project either fails to drive value as expected or the priorities change, and the platform can’t adapt. Ensure to make the business metrics you want the platform to deliver against both now and in the future a central part of the brief.
3. Do your research
When it comes to business intelligence tools the options are many and varied. Some tools have been developed specifically for the hospitality sector while others are a more generic solution. Likewise, while some providers are established brands within the sector a wealth of agile new entrants are disrupting the market.
Consider the technology requirements. How the tool will integrate with existing systems such as your Channel Management System (CMS), Property Management System (PMS), Central Reservations System (CRS), Customer relationship Management (CRM) system, Google Analytics and other revenue streams such as food and beverage? Make sure it will also support pickup analysis.
Understand what in-house expertise you can draw on during implementation and how it will be used across your hotel chains’ teams such as marketing, sales, e-commerce, operations, and food & beverage; what external support will be required, how easily the tool can scale and what level of reporting and customization you require.
Request demonstrations, spend time reading blogs, watching webinars, joining business intelligence groups on social media and attending industry events where you can meet vendors in person and try the technology.
Finding the right business intelligence solution and partner is a critical investment spending time now to understand your options will ensure your chosen platform delivers value.
4. Build a short-list
Identify the vendors who you think most closely meet your business and technology requirements. Drill down into their suitability – if you have doubts request a further demo, request third party reviews or articles about their platform.
Finding the right business intelligence partner for your hotel will make all the difference in the long run so do your homework and you will reap the benefits.
Discover how business intelligence solutions are helping Revenue Managers step-up to become strategic partners. Read our blog here.