MUNICH, September 2019 – Hoteliers may not realize it, but they stand on fantastic ground.
Their feet are firmly planted on top of a new raw material. One that is so valuable that some describe it as the new gold. It is a raw material that has the potential to positively impact all areas of a hotel. The problem is that managers are not aware of how to harvest it (or in some cases, they are not even aware that they are standing on top of it!). So, it sits below their feet, untouched and unused.

I am talking about data.
90% of all data was produced in the last two years[1]. Other industries have successfully managed to transform this raw material into customer knowledge. Companies like Netflix and Amazon make such good use of data that they don’t even need to ask their customers what they want because they already know! They learn everything that their customer could want or need and can preemptively offer the right goods or services.

In hospitality, the OTAs have managed to use data brilliantly. But, hotels still struggle to leverage data into actionable insights despite having this data just within reach of their fingertips. Even a relatively small hotel with 100 rooms has about 5,000 events per day which could be transformed into customer insights.

Hoteliers that feel lost in their quest for a data gold mine finally have a solution. dailypoint™ creates a data hub with a clean central guest profile. In the data hub, we collect data from multiple systems like the PMS, POS, Spa, Golf, website, newsletter system, table reservations, loyalty, guest reviews, etc. This means the data is clean and centrally available – just waiting for someone to turn it into action to reap the benefits of the data gold. This leads me to the miner of the gold – a new position: the data manager who converts data into a highly usable asset – guest knowledge! The data manager can take this big data and use it to understand each individual guest and to personalize services at each touchpoint at the hotel.

30 years ago, the central guest profile sat in the PMS, which was one of the only systems that hotels had at the time. Today, hotels have, on average, 15 independent systems with relevant guest data and zero central guest profiles. This needs to be changed. Hotels must again have a central profile in a new instance, the CRM[2].[4] Contrary to popular belief, the CRM does not equate to marketing. This is a misinterpretation of the term which is common in our industry. CRM means Customer Relationship Management and must affect all areas of a hotel. This means that the knowledge within a central profile should not be stuck in marketing. The data must be accessible at all touchpoints. dailypoint™ offers an open API for easy integrations, a growing marketplace with more than 100 best-of-breed solutions, and deep 2-way interfaces with the main used systems, like the PMS.

A data manager should oversee the data sources, create and monitor the data quality, use AI to create knowledge, re-design processes and reports like the VIP list, arrival list, housekeeping list, breakfast list etc. If you understand that the central profile is not in the PMS anymore, then it is obvious that many of the daily standards today like VIP arrival lists, coming from the wrong place, the wrong systems. It is time to rethink and to relocate the processes; it is time to disrupt.

I expect that in 10 years from now, each hotel has a data manager and the position will be as important for the success of a hotel like the revenue manager position is today. Re-think your processes and react. Create a new position for a data manager, to make sure you can use the potentials you have.

Work description for a data manager:
A person who works with data to provide a better service and to help managers to make better decisions. The person is responsible that the company learns who the customers are.

To dos:

  • Define data quality standards, train and review
  • Create guest knowledge
  • Create lists and reports to leverage guest knowledge
  • Reputation and quality management
  • Handle GDPR requests
  • Interface function between the different departments: Front Office, Housekeeping, Marketing, F&B, IT etc.

[1] C.F. Aufbruch, Google, DMEXCO special edition 2019, P.16
[2] C.F. h2c Global CRM Study, 2019, Düsseldorf, P. 29 ff.

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