Is “data scientist” the next hot topic in hotels? – Global Home Network Panel

Max starkov
Adjunct Professor NYU Tisch Center for Hospitality and Hospitality & Online Travel Tech Consultant

The fragmentation of technology and data in the hospitality industry is a huge challenge and an obstacle to the post-COVID rebound that the industry faces today. Data – customer data, set of compositions, and market BI data – exist in several “Data islands” that do not communicate with each other: PMS, CRS, WBE, CRM, ORM, CMS, DMS, Social Media and BI. Virtually no hotel company can boast of having a single view of customer data which is constantly updated and enriched in real time, “live” data flow from ALL points of contact with the traveler and their digital customer journey.

Quite often different teams within the property or business will use different sets of data in their day-to-day operations, creating a total “Mess of data integrity”, which directly affects the property’s customer acquisition and retention efforts. Ex. Most of the time, CRM data is not used to engage and retain old customers, sell equipment and services to facility customers, and to create similar audiences in new acquisition marketing efforts. clients of the establishment.

The goal here is very clear: to bridge guest data and technology silos and create an end-to-end real-time data platform, allowing hotels to acquire new customers, engage customers. current and retain former customers.

Here’s the big question: Can property hire a data scientist to do all of this? The answer is no: there is a dearth of data scientists and they are very expensive. The average salary for a data scientist in the United States is $ 154,000 / year (Glassdoor). Expedia employs 365 data scientists with an average salary of $ 135,000; Facebook – over 500 of them at $ 152,000 / year. Very few hotel companies can afford it.

Therefore, I believe it is up to the hotel technology provider industry to carry the torch and help the industry overcome its technology shortcomings and create solutions to bridge data silos to better serve the rising tide. of tech-savvy travel consumers. In this regard, the new type of Open API Marketplaces, offered by PMS cloud providers like Opera Cloud PMS with APIs for more than 3,100 third-party technology solutions, is encouraging. StayNTouch PMS, CloudBeds, and Protel PMS have markets, as well as API markets like SiteMinder, HappiCloud, and IReconU.

The lack of hospitality-oriented technology and data science education compounds the problem. Hoteliers are ill-equipped not only to deal with the situation of fragmented data internally, but also to work with external technology providers delivering next-generation AI-powered data solutions. How many hotel schools today teach hotel technology courses? Only a few. New York University’s Tisch Center of Hospitality is one of the few that offers a course in hospitality technology, which is a good start to educating future hoteliers about the importance of hospitality technology and science. data in industry.

Sean N. Ayres