“Smart Data” has become a buzzword in recent years. Businesses across a variety of industries are embracing intelligent data solutions to improve the way they do business, and the travel industry is no exception; in fact, hoteliers who use Smart Data can gain an edge over rival properties, particularly in today’s fiercely competitive recovery market.

However, hospitality has been traditionally slow to adopt new technologies, despite the ability that smart data has to more easily collect, interpret, and put to use vast amounts of information available. With a deeper understanding of how this technology works, hoteliers can better understand the massive scope of the benefits it provides. 

The Emergence of Data Analytics Technology
Data analytics has long been recognizably vital to create successful marketing strategies, enhance productivity and build guest loyalty. When a good data analytics strategy is employed, hoteliers can more effectively personalize experiences for their guests, target specific segments and frictionlessly monetize guest amenities.

However, manually gathering and preparing the massive amount of data available is labor-intensive, and because the process of traditionally analyzing data is so time-consuming, any insight within may already be irrelevant by the time it’s been uncovered. As consumer reliance on technology grows, data volumes are only growing—deepening an already challenging process, and leaving few with the ability to swiftly pull relevant data from the deluge.

To continue gathering the virtual intelligence hoteliers need, technology providers understood that operators needed a swift, easy method to figure out which pieces of data were important, ensure their quality and instantly provide the context needed to turn data into actionable information. Enter: Smart Data.
Traditional Data Analytics vs. Smart Data Analytics

Analytics weave together hundreds of online consumer interactions from across multiple channels, combining thousands of events and extracting information to discover trends and unique consumer interests. With traditional analytics, the data is collected, sorted and then processed on a fixed schedule. Smart Data, on the other hand, is automatically prepared and organized at the point of collection, delivered to analyzers optimized for swifter speed and accuracy.  Powered by AI-technology and machine learning capabilities, this innovative technology allows for real-time data collection and provides valuable insights on a user-friendly interface designed for maximum insights. 

Smart data can be collected and sorted in a variety of ways in order to deliver the specific insights hoteliers need. When hoteliers use smart data to provide guests with a more personalized experience, a smart solution platform harvests relevant guest information from a variety of property channels, including booking engines, PMS, guest Wi-Fi and more. The data is then stored in a unique profile that provides insights into a guest’s gender, age, interests, income and other vital demographic information. In turn, hoteliers can then create accurately targeted campaigns customized to a specific set of guests, ensuring a higher ROI.

When using smart data for revenue management, information is collected and sorted based on a combination of four data set types, with each set delivering distinct insights. Descriptive data equips hoteliers with the insights needed to make informed decisions for the future based on historical information, while also providing a foundation for operational evaluation based on previous performances. Diagnostic data measures historical information relative to a property’s unique market, helping hoteliers understand why an outcome occurred while also providing a benchmark to measure performance against competitors. Predictive data provides hotels with occupancy and revenue forecasts, which can assist in accurately managing price and inventory. Finally, prescriptive data makes short-term predictions for optimal future outcomes.  
Equipping Smart Data Solutions
In hospitality, travel brands are increasingly working with smart data providers to create innovative, consent-based methods to identify, profile and categorize consumers, while also giving guests some added value in return. One such method is the implementation of Smart Wi-Fi, a Wi-Fi management tool that requires a guest to accept the terms of use before accessing a hotelier’s internet. This helps hoteliers develop rich data profiles, while simultaneously equipping guests with high-speed property internet.

Partnering with a smart data provider may also help a hotelier build out their loyalty marketing techniques. Leading smart data providers offer built-in loyalty options, including the ability to remember a guest on the property Wi-Fi and facial recognition services for faster check-in services. These, in turn, further develop guest profiles, allowing hoteliers to continue creating smart, effective data-driven marketing campaigns. Industry-leading smart data providers may also offer hoteliers with the ability to create and distribute advertising campaigns from the same platform, eliminating third-party costs.
By establishing a relationship with a reputable Smart Data provider, hoteliers can make smarter decisions faster and offer guests with a completely personalized experience—enabling success throughout the industry’s recovery and beyond.