Please make a choice:
Did you choose one?
Now, what exactly have you based your decision on?
On the temperature? On the nutritional value? Did you run a risk assessment, considering factors like the interplay of the melting ice cream, your outfit, and your clumsiness? Or do you just feel more like ice cream?
In our primary field, the hotel and revenue management, decisions tend to be a bit more complex. Well, that is: The underlying premises are. The decisions themselves still mostly come down to just a pair of options: A, or B? Do I leave the peloton, and break away? Or should I rather stay, and try to ride along with the competition?
Both strategies can work out just fine.
Both can lead to valuable results.
But both need to be based on profound rationales. And this is not solely because justification would automatically improve the outcomes of decisions, but also it maximises the value of your way.
Think about it this way: Having reliable heuristics to base your decision on makes you more confident on the decision itself.
This applies to the decision between ice cream and chocolate, and even more so to strategic decisions within hotel revenue management.
This is where the much-cited data and technology come into play. Because unfortunately, the world is not as simple as choosing between chocolate and ice cream.
Data for the Jilted Generation?
1 – Decisions in the post pandemic competitive environment
The world´s economic complexity was always constantly increasing but as we all know: this complexity was even topped in the past two years. We’ve seen established procedures and models tumble, and decades’ worth of optimized calculations were just swept away by a global pandemic and the different reactions to it. All kinds of factors that influence our market positioning went bonkers – from the consumer frugality-turned-catch-up mentality to market dynamics driven by fiscal interventions like the change of interest rates to massive shifts in the labor market to discords in worldwide supply chains.
And then, it’s also not only the competitive environment that has changed; this already complicated situation is now compounded by a change in consumer behavior, which we already see reflected in hotels’ and hotel chains’ reactions that shift business to leisure, adding SPAs and saunas to otherwise rather bland houses, and so on.
How do we make our way through this information thicket as we still face the same kind of decisions to be made: A or B, A or B?
2 – Your basic data set: Identifying interplays
Melting ice cream, your outfit, your clumsiness – this kind of interplay also applies to hotels and their market. Well, structurally, that is.
First, you need to really identify your own product. Have you ever done this? Analyzed your inventory, guests’ structure, lead time, and so on?
Then it’s time to do the same for your surrounding market: Who are your competitors? How do they make their money? What prices do they offer? When? For what? To whom? Who are their guests? What do they usually book? Through which channel? How long do they stay? What is their lead time?
It’s not said that you need to know all of this.
But having these data at hand – and being able to really understand the dynamics of all this – now, that would really come in handy when you want to work out your positioning.
3 – Through the information thicket
Granted, it would require hours and hours of manual research to have all these data. And when you’re just about done, something changes, and you can start from scratch again.
Been there, done that. We are not only hoteliers at heart. We are hoteliers. We had to find a better way to access and process information than by hand. We needed to get rid of time sinking processes, while at the same time still we needed to be able to analyze our options to be one step ahead of our competition.
Which is exactly why we invented HQ revenue.
Back then, our question was: How do we get started with data and analytics? Where do we start at all? How can we implement data driven revenue management?
We answered these questions with a lot of coding, and data science, so our clients don’t have to. Any heavy lifting, needed to unveil all the economic dynamics, KPIs, trends and forecasts the data can tell, is done below the hood. Welcome to 2022!
So, how do you get started with data and analytics today? It’s pretty simple: Try out the toolings on the market. Choose the one you get along with the best, that fits your workflows best, that gives you the most reliable data.
The HQ revenue team takes some pride in having created a tool, that hides the heavy lifting, and gives our users a intuitively use able tool with which they can easily explore the market dynamics, and opportunities for revenue.
There is no such thing as an information thicket anymore. Having all the data at hand – no: at one glimpse – that you need to base your decisions on, your decision making does not only become more creative. It also becomes more efficient and more trustworthy.
Well, drawing is a thing we really like. Especially drawing charts, like this one, depicting the development of the median rates of 3-, 4- and 5-star hotels in Helsinki over the past years.
You can see the rebound effect and verify your own performance in comparison to the full market. We can base our decisions on data visualizations like this – rather than our mere experience (which is, to be honest, just an agglomeration of gut feelings, right?).
This is what makes decisions valuable, and this is how you add confidence towards your decisions, without having to hire a bunch of revenue experts and their gut feelings.
And if that’s not enough, try the drill-downs in HQ revenue, to enjoy all the super-detailed views, all the data, all the riddles – and all the opportunities, instead only the accumulated high-level data.
We’d say: Have some ice cream while you’re at it.
You won’t need to feed your nerves any chocolate.
Except you find some of this super awesome dark chocolate with orange.
Then take this.