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Six Things Predictive Analytics Can Tell You That Your PMS Can’t

by Sarah McCay Tams, Contributing Editor, EMEA |

A hotel’s property management system provides crucial information on average room rate, occupancy levels and RevPAR — all vital data sets for hotel revenue management. However, for in-depth forecasting, real-time market data and trends analysis, hotel revenue managers need to employ predictive analytics.

The development of the PMS marked a technological breakthrough in the world of hotels when it first emerged on the scene. Gone were the days of paper-based methods of recording guest data, room rates, feedback and general property management.

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Hoteliers have long come to rely upon the PMS as a backbone to their operations. It helps with the facilities management of properties, feeds into customer relationship management systems and integrates with F&B point of sale to offer streamlined stock control. But it can’t reveal everything a hotelier needs to know.

Here are our top six things that hotel predictive analytics can tell you that you won’t find through your PMS:

  1. Forecast. As mentioned, your PMS can provide historical data on occupancy, average room rate and RevPAR, as well as insight on average length of stay. But what about the future? Predictive analytics can help you build out a more accurate picture of what the future may hold. Working with your on-property data, including future reservations, and adding in market-level data, including flight statistics, weather reports and details on where visitors are coming from, you can map out a clearer picture of future demand.
  2. Trends. Predictive analytics can crunch immense sets of numbers. This scale of data can help hoteliers spot trends, and this is where the money is to be made. Finding a niche demand and pricing accordingly can help hotel revenue strategists optimise on rate.
  3. Real-time data. With more people booking hotel rooms straight off a mobile search, being able to constantly adjust your rate means that you always go to market with the best deal for the customer and for you. Real-time data enables revenue strategists to be proactive rather than reactive in their pricing decisions. The result? Higher conversion rates as you price your hotel according to the market of the moment, and not according to the market of yesterday, last week or even last month.
  4. Social value. Predictive analytics enables you to constantly monitor the social media comments about your business and your market. This real-time information enables you to quickly react to customer demand and monitor market trends. Predictive analytics also enables you to quantify the value of social media to your business, as well as giving you another touch point with the customer.
  5. Customer sentiment. Predictive analytics enables you to blend the content of Big Data with customer sentiment and quantitative data. This presents hotel revenue strategists with an accurate picture of their environment and market direction. The better you know your customer, the better you can meet their demands, especially in terms of price and package.
  6. The weather. OK, so predictive analytics might not be able to actually forecast the weather. But what it can do is provide data on how your market typically reacts when extreme weather patterns strike. If a hard storm hits and flights get grounded, then how many additional room nights can your city centre hotel expect to achieve? Similarly, if a heat wave sends temperatures soaring, what impact could this have on demand at your beach resort?

Predictive analytics might not be able to tell you whether or not to take an umbrella to work, but it does take a lot of the guesswork out of hotel revenue management. More data, and the technology to interpret that data in real time, can keep you one step ahead of the market.

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Sarah McCay Tams, Contributing Editor, EMEA

Sarah McCay Tams, Contributing Editor, EMEA

Sarah is contributing editor covering Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) for Duetto. An experienced B2B travel industry journalist, Sarah spent 14 years working in the Middle East, most notably as senior editor – hospitality for ITP Publishing Group in Dubai, where she headed up the editorial teams on Hotelier Middle East, Caterer Middle East and Arabian Travel News. Sarah is now based back in the UK.
Sarah McCay Tams, Contributing Editor, EMEA

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Sarah McCay Tams, Contributing Editor, EMEA

Sarah is contributing editor covering Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) for Duetto. An experienced B2B travel industry journalist, Sarah spent 14 years working in the Middle East, most notably as senior editor – hospitality for ITP Publishing Group in Dubai, where she headed up the editorial teams on Hotelier Middle East, Caterer Middle East and Arabian Travel News. Sarah is now based back in the UK.