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Big Data: A Big Plus or a Big Pain?

June 18, 2016 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Today, revenue managers are obsessed with Big Data. Between historical pricing, performance data (RevPAR, GOPPAR, ADR, occupancy, etc.), the competition’s pricing and the ever-changing market data available online, a revenue manager has HUGE amounts of data to sift through each and every day. Talk about data overload!

Even if a revenue manager were to work 24 hours a day, it would be highly unlikely that he/she could actually analyze all of the data effectively. More likely, all that data would result in paralysis by analysis (a.k.a. brain meltdown). So even though the technology now exists to allow hoteliers to access the most up-to-date information all the time, data is mostly ignored by many revenue managers… simply because of a lack of time.

But ignoring that data is very short-sighted because all of that data is important – very important. Without the appropriate data, revenue managers would be pricing blindly – sometimes making money, but more often than not, losing money and decreasing a hotel’s overall financial performance. But having data isn’t enough. If you’re not using the data properly (or if you’re ignoring the analysis part altogether), then data is once again useless (for revenue management purposes).

But how can revenue managers sift through piles and piles of data reports to find the info that is the most important for their pricing updates? 

The answer is simple: technology. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: technology is the only way that revenue managers can effectively collect and analyze data so that they can be more effective in their pricing. Sophisticated revenue management systems are designed to do just that – continuously and in real-time.

Let’s look at a similar industry – the airline industry. They have been using dynamic, automatic pricing software for years to effectively manage rates through the online channel. So now is the time for hotels to get on the tech bandwagon.

Rather than spending hours huddled around piles of reports with the rest of the pricing team, revenue managers can use their RMS to process the data and implement a specific pricing action. Of course, revenue managers will always have the say over what actions are taken by the system but without technology to analyze the data, aren’t you just staying stagnant, basing your decisions on nothing more than speculation?

Put your property’s data to work in your favor. Let’s leave the monotonous, time-consuming data processing to revenue management systems so that revenue managers can focus on the high-level strategic decisions that no computer can execute as effectively. Here’s to the end of paralysis by analysis!

By Jean Francois Mourier, CEO of REVPAR GURU

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