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Expert voice: how to tell a good story with hotel revenue data

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Revenue managers can improve hotel performance by providing actionable data, says Sibylle Luger, regional vice president, account management, EMEA and APAC at IDeaS.

The old rules for doing business have been crushed in the wake of the pandemic. The hospitality industry is entering a new era defined by insight, based on experience and backed by data. To properly guide connected business organizations using insights gleaned from data analytics, hotel operators rely on savvy revenue managers to convey their knowledge and understanding in a concise and actionable manner.

These revenue leaders have the ability to tap into historical data, then compare and contrast it with current events in a way that has never been possible before. In a fully connected business organization, this allows revenue teams to pull data from all corners of the property and portfolio, gaining real insight into how bookings and fares are going and how operators can react accordingly.

The problem is, data can be heavy when it comes to acting on it. While this can provide important revelations that can change the way traders approach business, it is of no use if leaders miss the point. Managing income today involves much more than forecasting and pricing, it requires creativity to shape the information gleaned from the data and deliver it in a way that makes sense.

Focus your message

“Everything was the same – until the day everything changed. It might sound like the start of a good argument for Netflix, but storytelling for businesses requires a different approach. Revenue managers can set the scene by quickly identifying where a change in the data has occurred, what triggered it, and how to execute it based on that knowledge.

The goal of such a message should be to sum it all up into one key statement or visual. The best way to do this is to use a strong title for each report, followed by an assumption about the implications of those results. More importantly, revenue managers need to tailor their reports to the departments that receive them. Sales, marketing, hospitality, food and beverage, and housekeeping consume and use information in different ways.

This hands-on approach from revenue leaders is necessary as continued economic uncertainty suppresses the urge of companies to experiment. Operators must adapt to new ways of increasing their income, and revenue management is the key to overcoming their fear of failure. Hoteliers can use the data as a guide, giving them more confidence in their decision-making every step of the way.

Create context

Operators do not have time to learn the history of historical data. They need to be informed by the data that revenue managers base their decisions on and where those decisions lead them. With this in mind, revenue managers can focus on creating the context around data analysis first and foremost.

The challenge here is twofold. First, revenue managers need to be able to form relationships with business and business leaders that allow them to freely share ideas. Second, they must willingly step outside of a traditional revenue management role, becoming business analysts and change leaders capable of directing a hotel’s operational trajectory.

It’s easy to fall back on operational strategies that have worked in the past, but revenue managers should remember that their role is one of the newest in the hospitality industry and has continued to evolve to a fast pace. The definition of the role continues to change, and it is during times of economic uncertainty that revenue management is necessary to unlock a hotel’s growth potential. By using their existing skills to take on a broader business leadership role, revenue managers are able to influence hotel operations beyond the traditional scope of the position.

Express yourself

Thanks to data, revenue leaders have become experts in long-term strategic planning, but the challenge of evolving does not lie solely on their shoulders. Hotels must create an environment that fosters experimentation and provide the necessary capabilities to do so. There’s only much revenue management software can do if it stays detached from other hotel systems. A fully connected organization allows revenue managers to pull information from all corners of the hotel, but many hotels continue to use legacy systems disconnected from the cloud.

The role of revenue management has evolved a lot from its humble beginnings, and today’s revenue leaders have marketing skills to increase growth that are unique to today’s business landscape. That is why it is up to modern revenue leaders to fight against the use of inferior technologies and data sources, to take the lead in championing the power of sophisticated revenue technology, and to foster a holistic revenue strategy. throughout the sales organization.

Hotels today remain constrained by a labor shortage and growing customer expectations. Only traders willing to try new things at all levels of business are positioned for success, and revenue management is leading the way. Revenue managers need to become skillful data storytellers, using the revenue management system, in tandem with other analytics technologies and business intelligence tools, to pull the dots together and create a strategy for profitability and business intelligence. increased business success.

This is a modified version of an article published on Hotel Management.


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