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Data analytics to drive hospitality industry recovery post-COVID-19

Data analytics to drive hospitality industry recovery post-COVID-19

11 Jul 2022

With the lifting of travel restrictions and hospitality service providers barely out of the woods following COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, many are competing over the same few customers, with a stripped down workforce, coupled with having to implement new SOPs.

Historically, many organisations have relied on intuition to inform their decisions. However, given that many hotels and establishments are tightening their belts, there are only so many mistakes and inefficiencies that can be afforded which will result in wrong pricing strategies, or overburdening employees and hence running the risk of lower service levels and higher employee turnover.

This is where data analytics come in.

“One of the key challenges that service providers face is that service is intangible. Service is something that needs to be experienced and felt and unlike products, it cannot be seen,” says Dr Shantini Thuraiselvam, lecturer in the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Events, Taylor’s University.

Quantifying and analysing this ‘intangible’ aspect of service, however, could hold the key to how to manage revenue – such as algorithms looking at guest reviews, determining what hotel guests like the least or the most about an establishment, and finding ways to improve.

Dr Shantini adds that one of the main ways that hotels use data analysis is in pricing, and revenue management. “Some of these data include demand and supply of rooms and rooms’ revenue,” she says. “This data can be used to measure the key performance indicators of a property such as Occupancy Percentages, Average Daily Rates and Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR). The KPIs can be then used to measure daily, monthly and annual performance.”

Not only can data analytics forecast demand by leveraging multiple sources such as previous year trends, number of bookings made, guests segments and room characteristics, a pricing algorithm can be implemented that also automatically updates prices and ensures the same price is offered on all channels – this greatly lessens manual tasks of a revenue manager.

These days, guests can not only be segmented based on demographic information (such as race, gender, marital status or education level) but also on behavioural characteristics, allowing for organisations to tailor their approach and products to the right market segments. “From the data, you can identify the big spenders who are more likely to buy optional extras, or the budget travellers,” says Dr Shantini.

All in all, Dr Shantini believes data analytics is absolutely crucial for hospitality managers. “Market segmentation, demand-based pricing and efficient management of channels of distribution can help service providers optimise their revenue streams,” she adds. Dr Shantini oversees the Hospitality Data Analytics module in the Taylor’s MicroCreds programme which covers the introduction to the hotel industry, KPI calculations, competitive set analysis and an overall view of hotel data analytics.

Upon completion of this MicroCred module, students can opt to take the CHIA®(Certification of Hotel Industry Analytics) which is jointly offered by Smith Travel Research (STR) and American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) for a special rate available to Taylor’s University. “The CHIA® is a certification that recognises the holder as having thorough knowledge of the foundational metrics, definitions, formulas, and methodologies that are used by the hotel industry,”says Dr Shantini.

The Taylor’s MicroCreds programme is an industry recognised certification of learning with credit value that are shorter and more flexible than a traditional degree.

Designed according to the current market trends for various industries and professions, some of the university’s MicroCreds are stackable, which counts towards credits needed in obtaining a degree should one choose to complete a degree programme.

These courses, encompassing various fields such as Management, Entrepreneurship, Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Cybersecurity, Digital Design, Communication Management, and Education Technology, are taught by industry experts and experienced academics.

Upon completion, graduates will be offered an e-certificate and a digital badge.

Prof Dr Pradeep Nair, Taylor’s University Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer, adds that such options for upskilling and reskilling is critical for Malaysians at this juncture, as a report published by McKinsey & Co (McKinsey) titled ‘Automation and adaptability: How Malaysia can navigate the future of work’ warns that many employees may lose their jobs if they are unable to gain human-centric skills that are increasingly required for jobs not taken over by technology.

“By 2030, we will see 4.5 million people losing their jobs in Malaysia. That is approximately 25% of the workforce in the country.

“Fortunately, new jobs that are emerging are those that can co-exist with technology, hence the need for working adults to upskill or reskill not just for career progression but to keep their jobs,” says Prof Dr Pradeep. For more information on Taylor’s MicroCreds, visit: https://bit.ly/TaylorsMicroCreds-DataAnalytics

Source: The Edge Markets

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