May 16, 2019
By Juli Jones, CAE, Vice President, HSMAI
In today’s information-saturated environment, there’s no such thing as too much data science. Case in point: The “Hotel Data Science Boot Camp for Marketers” that Michael Bennett, senior vice president of marketing and business development for Cendyn, presented at HSMAI’s Digital Marketing Strategy Conference in New York this past January was so well-received, he’ll be presenting a “Hotel Data Science Boot Camp for Revenue Professionals” at HSMAI’s ROC 2019 in Minneapolis on June 18–19. Our Marketing Advisory Board recently got to weigh in on the topic in order to help fine-tune the upcoming ROC session. Here are three key takeaways:
1) Leverage multiple data sources: Because there are so many data sets, different teams will have access to different sets. It’s important to be able to bring all of that together to create a central data intelligence warehouse — which requires infrastructure, departmental alignment, executive commitment, and resources. But the results are worth it. Leveraging data can help take the emotion out of decisions and drive better ROI and ROA. It also allows companies to better communicate results to financially orientated stakeholders and better understand guests, which can lead to more personalized, relevant experiences—further driving results both online and offline.
2) Industry experience: It’s important to be able to involve key stakeholders and other departments and look beyond your team members when it comes to analyzing data. For instance, look at what technologically savvy industries or progressive verticals like retail and entertainment are doing and learn from that. Likewise, hiring tech-savvy employees and/or being in a position to teach your existing employees the technicalities of the industry are important as well.
3) Cross-department communication: On a similar note, it is crucial to ensure departmental alignment. Different teams have to work together to deliver results for the company, meaning you need to tear down departmental silos and look at the data together. To get started, identify what you have and what you need. Data that is required for hoteliers to paint a full picture can include CRS, PMS, POS, loyalty, and web or media analytics. Ideally, it’s all coming into one data warehouse and you can validate that data, look at it together, and then take action.
Advice for all marketing and revenue leaders to think about is: Ask yourself, do I have access to the data that I need? Do I have support and alignment with other teams or departments? Do I have a tool or a data warehouse that we talked about to bring the data together? Do I have a clear and concise objective and KPIs against the business problems I’m trying to solve? And finally, and really importantly, am I ready to learn from what the data is about to tell me?