The hospitality industry has been driven by customer loyalty. It’s a well-known fact that customers tend to choose a hotel based on their past experiences, price, friends’ feedback, etc. Utilizing data to their advantage, the hotel industry has been actively implementing corporate intelligence to leverage valuable insights from this ‘hotel-customer’ relationship.
What is corporate intelligence?
When we talk about corporate intelligence, we refer to gathering and analyzing the information to outline facts that help the businesses to make well-informed management decisions. By considering the background, reputation and many other aspects pertaining to the clients and business partners, one can efficiently make key management decisions and build sustainable portfolios and reliable trustworthy relationships.
The information gathered both from the systems that are used to run the business, as well as from external sources of data (competitive benchmarks and market data), helps understand the existing opportunities and be informed of the potential risks. Users can explore their historical performance and future activity via dashboards, reports and analytics.
Nowadays, corporate intelligence system is cloud-based and often is available as a web application for users to access from their desktops, laptops and mobile devices through an internet connection.
Is corporate intelligence really beneficial?
The objective of corporate intelligence is to let users find ways to increase sales or reduce operating costs, so that they can run more profitable businesses. Acting as a driver to maintain sustained competitive advantage over competitors, corporate intelligence allows to preserve existing customer loyalty while facing competitive pressures.
What are the current trends in hospitality?
Leaders in the hospitality industry use a wide range of components within the business intelligence infrastructure arsenal to increase their effectiveness. One of the main ways business intelligence is benefiting the industry is through booking optimization. One of the ways that hotels help rate optimize is through data mining.
By inserting historical booking trends into a formula, one can clearly understand what will happen if they raise or lower prices. This technique enables the hotels to use their past data to make better-leveraged decisions for the future reference that are especially valuable during the holiday season.
Yet, before they can rate optimize, hotels must understand who their customer base is. Many hotels use a master data management program to determine the correct market that eventually results in the strong customer data integration.
Hotels might use this data to understand if they gain a return on value form websites such as Expedia.com. When developing a master data management program, there are many manners to organize and capture the data: by geography, travel agents, booking company or by sales.
On the other hand, hotels use corporate intelligence to help understand their guests, how and where they spend their money and time. This data mining can link back to a specific issue, allowing management to take corrective actions. For instance, Marriott managed to increase the number of distribution channels for their hotels via internet availability and customer service improvement. Thus, when Marriott runs a transaction, the business intelligence system is able to look up the member status, inventory availability, and possible pricing models.
Is the sky ‘cloudless’ in the corporate intelligence sector?
The answer to this question is “no” - there are still too many challenges in corporate intelligence application. Although organizations in hospitality have greatly benefitted from BI by acquiring a huge competitive advantage and unique insights in standard reports, the specialists still point out 5 main challenges in corporate intelligence the companies are facing today:
1. Delivering self-service analysis
The ability to deliver self-service reporting and analysis across their organisation is one of the main issues, with 35.8% of respondents reporting this issue. Since traditional business intelligence tools are so complicated to use, only a few key individuals within the company know how to handle them. Bottlenecks can quickly form around these key individuals, and this can slow down the whole reporting process.
By investing in a self-service business intelligence tool, businesses will have a chance to avoid such disruptions by empowering the end users. Once a more user-friendly experience has been achieved, the companies note a higher ROI on their investment as a result.
2. Reporting/ analyzing across multiple systems
In spite of the fact that the majority of the businesses these days collect lots of data surrounding their business operations, this data is often distributed across a variety of different systems and software, which makes it difficult to bring together. As a result, it gets almost impossible to retrieve the needed information since data might be stored in multiple ERP systems, CRMs and Excel spreadsheets. The solution would be to extract data from these multiple sources and to bring it together into a centralised data warehouse.
3. Unlocking data buried in systems
When the data is buried in complex systems and software, it might be a daunting task to get it. In order to gain any real value from your data, it’s crucial to transform it into the right shape easily. By using a data warehouse, it’s possible to clean up the data, get it into the right shape, and apply any business rules.
4. Reducing the cost of producing reports
In case with the traditional business intelligence projects, keeping track of the cost can become a real problem. In contrast, with Cloud BI, there is a fixed price set-up fee, and all ongoing costs are all covered under the price of your monthly subscription.
5. Delivering Mobile BI
As mobile devices constantly change the way we do business, it is no surprise to see that there is a high demand for mobile business intelligence and analytics. Logically enough, there should be a simplified way to reach the required information on different devices.
So, what is the future of the corporate intelligence in the hospitality industry?
Overall, the forecast is rather optimistic. To better understand trends and maximize profit, the hotels are gradually introducing cutting-edge features into their operations: customized dashboard, reservation system, and offers alerts sent to users’ mobile devices. At the same time, constantly emerging solutions enable the hotels to reach new markets, promising highly visual data with maps, alerts, and analytics.
As the guests expect more customized service, hotels must meet their expectations. Today’s clients see the true value in the ability to access their business data anywhere in the world at any time.
Many hotels maintain that corporate intelligence is a tool that can identify new revenue streams, and test strategies. Moreover, with social media becoming one of the key sources of information, hotels are expected to be on top of any reviews that involve their particular location.
By monitoring their brand online using business intelligence, hotels will get a better chance to mine user reviews from the social platforms and then provide their detailed analysis. The technology goes even further generating industry specific customer insights through operational categories, such as service performance, employee feedback, and product quality.
All in all, the hospitality industry is quickly becoming a leader when it comes to corporate intelligence. Optimizing customer data leads to higher profits and occupancy rate, as well as to the improvement of the customer experience.