People often say that analytics seems daunting, and many assume they don’t have adequate technical skills to use analytics effectively. Good news – managers at all levels are already using analytics to support their day-to-day decisions and improve business performance.
Analytics tools have been growing steadily in the hospitality industry. New insights are gleaned from existing systems with just a few clicks. Information is combined in ways that help the industry gain a deeper understanding of their guest demographics. Operators experience more “a-ha” moments with improved insights that provide specific guidance for business performance. When managers in all areas of the organization are contributing, synergy emerges.
Making business analyses more approachable, the evolution of analytics has brought forth tools that are easier for non-techies to use. Easily build custom reports and dashboards with data drawn from multiple systems and sources; segment and filter data, and even share insights with colleagues. Choose custom visuals – often those that resonate well within the organization. There is increasing flexibility to obtain the data needed for specific roles. These capabilities allow for simple, yet powerful analytics with less IT reliance.
Role-based analytics with KPIs (key performance indicators) can give a snapshot of individual and team productivity, and their progress over time. Important analytics to understand and strengthen performance include:
- Loss Prevention – to quickly identify the telltale signs of fraudulent activity;
- Table Service – to assess guest flow and table usage;
- Staff Metrics – to distinguish team champions and identify opportunities for staff training.
These are just a few examples how analytics will help illuminate areas of hidden costs and pinpoint discrepancies or behaviors that may be impacting the bottom line.
The appropriate analytics tools can provide a deeper understanding of the patterns and preferences of guests to help strengthen the organization’s competitive strategies. For example, some pre-packaged hospitality analytics tools provide reports that show standard demographic profiles, but these profiles certainly aren’t ideal for every property. Use analytics to create and see targeted demographic profiles and apply these profiles to measure the organizational KPIs. This can be done easily using the drag-and-drop feature of an analytics tool.
Taking guest data and analytics further, create performance reports that combine data from various systems, explaining the impact that the guest experience has on the various areas of the organization. Instead of running multiple reports from various sources and trying to correlate the reports to each other, simply use a single dashboard that links to a group of reports. Combining the data, operators can easily see guest spending patterns, how much is spent by individual guest, guest type, most popular and least popular items, frequency of visits and associated spending – all without looking at numerous spreadsheets.