I love stats! I love them! A large quantity of data brought back to some diagrams, graphs and even better: infographics, the best of them all! I actually bought a book with nothing else in there than all kinds of infographics about all kinds of topics. Data and the results that make infographics give you a clear inside in a wide variety of topics that would otherwise be too hard to crunch.
Did you know that data visualization or infographics were first introduced in 1626 by Christoph Scheiner in his book “Rosa Ursina sive Sol” in which he revealed his research about the rotation of the sun?
The hospitality industry has a crush on data as we all know. We can and will keep track of everything. From how many stays a particular guest has made, to his preferences for which liquor brand he prefers in his minibar and what his Nett Promotor Score is. It doesn’t stop there. We track everything! From the number of room nights booked through a particular channel to the number of rooms booked on any given day in the past, we even keep track of the weather so that we know why that number of rooms was booked.
That’s just two examples from this industry but there is so much more! What about companies that can visit your comp set every day and keep track of the number of meeting rooms booked, who booked them, for which rate and how many attendants.
All this data gives a clear picture of what happened in the PAST and based on this we try to predict the future with forecasts and budgets.
Understanding the data
Data provides you with valuable information; the booking patterns of your client gives you an insight. But way too often I’ve encountered situations in which your General Manager would say “why is client XYZ behind last year’s curve?” and when you tell them “they had a large project running which is now finished and therefore they are behind last year’s production” they look at you dumb folded because that’s not on their datasheet.
Employees nowadays look more like data-analysts or data miners than Sales Managers, General Managers or Front Office employees. I know of examples where a Sales Manager spends every first week of the month compiling his “monthly report” for his General Manager. That week he’s busy with compiling a pile of information gathered from different systems resulting in a stack of paper printed on A3 paper giving a ‘clear’ insight in last month’s performance. He does so every month, 12 times a year! Again, looking back rather than forward.
Basically we are gathering way too much data which is worthless unless you really understand your business and your clients. That can only be done by going out and talking to people, understanding organizations and get rid of all the datasheets for a while. The stack of paper I spoke about earlier is meaning less if you don’t know which changes are going on in the companies you work with. You need to build and invest in lasting relations with your contact persons and get to know other people within that organization. If you spend your time compiling reports and datasheets, you’re not spending time with the people that bring the business to your hotel. Then you’re not a Sales Manager but a Spreadsheet Manager!
Collecting data from anybody
Data is Big Business! Just put in a search engine and it will give you millions of hits. This data collection unfortunately doesn’t stop at the business and revenue side of the hotel. No, we collect data from our employees but also a large chunk of data from people who are potential employees. If you apply for a position anywhere through a job boards your precious and valuable data is collected and sold to anybody who is interested because it’s allowed according to the “general terms & conditions”.
So, if I would be running a hotel, job boards gather applicant data, with my paid vacancy and then re-sell that data. Yes, that’s what’s happening. To make it even better (or worse) if you use a logo in your vacancy, you allow any job board to use that logo in their marketing outings, free of charge of course.
I guess you didn’t know that, did you? That’s because hardly anybody reads the small print and the “General Terms & Conditions”.
At Hospitables we find these kind of practices unfair. If you pay to place a vacancy any data gathered is yours. We don’t even want to store any data because it’s not ours, it’s gathered with your vacancy and your logo.
At Hospitables we have a genuine interest in people and we work with, for and by the hospitality industry. That’s why it would feel like robbery if we would sell and make available any data we gathered with your vacancy. Also, if you would be applying as a candidate, do you give everybody your home address, copy of your passport and mobile number? No you don’t, that’s why everyone should be warry about his privacy, his personal data and the use of job boards other than Hospitables!