Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 104

TECHNOLOGY

hospitality. With so many companies
embracing big data and applying it to
improve their operations, it might be
the key to maintaining competitiveness
in the future.

HOW DOES IT APPLY
TO THE INDUSTRY?
Big data has relevant applications in
nearly every industry imaginable. To
use this information to its fullest extent,
it's important to know where it has the
greatest impact.
Customer categorization. One of the
keys to maximizing profits - regardless of industry - is in the categorization and identification of incoming
customers. Most experienced sales
reps can gain a basic understanding
of a customer's spending habits in as
little as one visit, but even this can be
misleading. To properly categorize a
customer according to their potential
for profitability, for example, proactive companies must track customer
spending habits over time.
Personalized service. More companies
are offering customized services to
cater to their most valuable customers - either in groups or as individuals. But hotels can't always rely on
internal data to predict a customer's
return. Instead, data analysts have
to collect data from surrounding,
external sources to help identify
travel patterns, habits and common
timeframes.
Social media. In today's Internetcentric age, online communities are
just as important as their traditional
counterparts. Since many customers
turn to social media for questions,
issues and concerns, the platform provides a great opportunity to connect
with consumers in brand-new ways.
Air France alone has compiled vast
datasets containing online search histories, completed bookings and even

10 4  | APRIL 2018 | TODAYSHOTELIER.COM

airport lounge activities on every one
of their customers - more than 90 million of them. The data helps officials
create personalized travel experiences
for their frequent guests.
Yield management. Big data analytics also affects yield management.
By calculating the optimum value of
each room and factoring in metrics
like seasonal demands, regular guests
and similar trends, hotels can ensure
maximum profits.
Regardless of whether hotels are trying to classify their patrons with better
accuracy, provide personalized services,
engage their social media audience or
stretch the value of their properties, they
must use and apply all this data before
it has an impact. The information on its
own is dormant until activated through
the disciplines of big data processing
and analysis.

DESCRIPTIVE, PREDICTIVE AND
PRESCRIPTIVE ANALYTICS
Descriptive analytics - used to glean
data from past occurrences and activities - is commonly seen in industries like
marketing and advertising. Predictive
analytics uses big data to try and forecast future outcomes or events, while
prescriptive analytics takes advantage
of highly advanced algorithms to process
big data and provide actionable advice.
All three of these methods are common
strategies for applying big data in the
hotel and hospitality industry.
Descriptive analytics. This method is
one of the most straightforward and
efficient ways of generating actionable
data. Did a recent renovation increase
sales, or was it ultimately a waste of
capital? It's easy to answer questions
like this via descriptive analytics - it's a
decades-old method that has assumed
many different forms over the years.
Predictive analytics. Basic examples of
predictive analytics include preparing

a hotel for a seasonal rush - like spring
break - and reducing the hours of
staff members to accommodate the
fewer number of reservations in
the offseason.
Prescriptive analytics. Instead of letting the human workforce interpret
and act on this information without any guidance, some of today's
systems provide recommendations
and advice to improve service and
increase profits. Online reservation
systems that track a guest's past stays
can automatically generate discount
codes for future reservations, assemble personalized services for each
guest and even deliver their favorite
drinks or food.
Big data analytics has the potential
to completely transform the customer
experience within the hotel and hospitality industry. It's not something that
will happen overnight, but the industry
is already making huge strides toward a
full-on embrace of big data and all the
advantages it has to offer.
Some of the most tech-savvy hotel
chains are already adopting long-term
strategies and policies for big data management. Those who are unwilling - or
hesitant - might find it hard to compete
in the coming years.

THE FUTURE OF BIG DATA
The niche of big data is still in its infancy,
but it's already sparked storms of creativity and innovation in any industry it's
touched, including hotels and hospitality.
Even the most sophisticated of predictive
analytics can't tell us exactly where big
data is headed, but customers are sure
to be pleased with the results.
■
Nathan Sykes is a technology and business
writer at Finding an Outlet. When he's not
thinking about machine learning and cloud
computing, Nathan can be found exploring
his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pa.


http://www.TODAYSHOTELIER.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Today's Hotelier - April 2018

Letter From the Chairman
Letter From the President & CEO
Government Affairs & Advocacy
The C-Suite
Common Ground
Summer Season Offers Opportunities to Drive Business
Maximizing Your Experiential Travel Potential
What Can Hoteliers Learn From Other Industries?
Trends to Watch
Finance
Operations
Marketing
Small Business
Spotlight
Q&A
Perspectives
Travel
Leadership
Strategy
Design
Guest Experience
Food & Beverage
Technology
Operations
HR & Employee Relations
AAHOA Club Blue, Platinum, Gold & Silver Members
AAHOA @ Industry Events
Classifieds
Advertiser Index
Back of the House
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Intro
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - cover1
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - cover2
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - insert1
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - insert2
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 3
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 4
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 5
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 6
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 7
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 8
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 9
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 10
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 11
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Letter From the Chairman
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 13
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Letter From the President & CEO
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 15
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Government Affairs & Advocacy
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 17
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 18
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 19
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - The C-Suite
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 21
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Common Ground
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 23
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Summer Season Offers Opportunities to Drive Business
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 25
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 26
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 27
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 28
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 29
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Maximizing Your Experiential Travel Potential
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 31
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 32
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 33
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 34
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 35
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - What Can Hoteliers Learn From Other Industries?
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 37
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 38
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 39
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 40
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 41
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Trends to Watch
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 43
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 44
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 45
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Finance
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 47
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 48
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 49
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Operations
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 51
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 52
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 53
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Marketing
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 55
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 56
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 57
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Small Business
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 59
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Spotlight
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 61
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Q&A
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 63
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 64
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 65
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Perspectives
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 67
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 68
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 69
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Travel
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 71
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 72
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 73
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 74
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 75
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Leadership
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 77
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 78
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 79
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 80
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 81
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Strategy
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 83
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 84
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 85
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Design
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 87
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 88
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 89
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Guest Experience
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 91
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 92
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 93
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 94
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 95
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Food & Beverage
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 97
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 98
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 99
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 100
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 101
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Technology
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 103
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 104
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 105
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Operations
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 107
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 108
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 109
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 110
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 111
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - HR & Employee Relations
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 113
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 114
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 115
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 116
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 117
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - AAHOA Club Blue, Platinum, Gold & Silver Members
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 119
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - AAHOA @ Industry Events
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 121
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 122
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Classifieds
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 124
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 125
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 126
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 127
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 128
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 129
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 130
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 131
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 132
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Advertiser Index
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 134
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 135
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Back of the House
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 137
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 138
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - cover3
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - cover4
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