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Big Data in Hospitality

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 5 years you’ve probably heard the term “big data” being used fairly often. If you work in hospitality management, you’ve more than likely had more than a dozen sales reps contact you about their latest and greatest tool offering “big data insights” – how often have you experienced moments when these sales reps couldn’t actually explain to you what big data is?

Happens far too often I’m afraid!

What is Big Data?

In a nutshell, big data is the information that sits behind pretty websites and social media that tells you what the users are doing and why. The term ‘big’ is applied to this because it refers to mass amounts of data from huge websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and so on.

Yep, it’s as simple as that!

Why Does Big Data Seem so Complex?

We can point to two reasons why:

1. People not really having an understanding of what big data is – unless they work with digital media every day and have been able to touch on it in some way it’s understandable why not everyone ‘gets it’. Unfortunately, many of these people have been tasked with selling services or products relating to big data without proper training.

2. Without the above comes a lack of understanding of how to access this data and how to read it. Think of it this way: An average business owner may have a basic understanding of online metrics but would probably be scared off if he/she had to log into Google Analytics or Facebook Ad Manager. Their first thoughts would probably be, “what do all these numbers mean?” and, “how do I apply them to my business?”. A data analyst would have no issue in hitting the ground running with these but, unfortunately, not everyone is a trained analyst but we are expected to have a degree of understanding these days.

How does Big Data Apply to Hospitality?

This topic was briefly touched on in the ‘Food Ordering Apps and Your Business’ post where we mentioned that a food ordering app is a great way to build a database of users and segment them by their in-app activities.

Big data can go so much deeper than this, particularly for the hospitality industry. If your business utilises any kind of customer loyalty or online reservation/ordering system you could dive into fantastic insights about customers. If a person enjoys pairing x and y together frequently then why not offer a discount after a certain number of these pairings? Or the business could ensure that the customer’s favourite meals or pairings are presented when he/she logs into your system or receives an email from you. You could also customise food options when a diner has specifically stated what their allergies are.

Big data can also give managers far deeper, and quicker, insight into their business’ performance than ever before. By simply logging into your system you can find out which products are the best performers and on which days and during which periods; what kinds of products outperform others (drinks or food – soft drinks or liquor); what products perform well at which sites; which products perform better at certain points of the year; which season of the year is best for each site; which physical areas in each site perform or underperform; and so on.

With insights like these, you are almost guaranteed to gain the edge over your competitors. All you need is to find the right analytics tool for your business and gain understanding.

How do I ever find out this Information?

Accessing and making sense of everything mentioned above can seem really daunting! A fantastic EPoS system will be able to give you all the insights you need by presenting data relevant to your business in a meaningful way (Sayonara to endless amounts of unnecessary data!) and luckily for you, TISSL provides such a suite of tools.

We’re going to go ahead and brag because it’s so well-deserved: our Business Intelligence tool is truly fantastic and we can’t wait to roll it out to more clients. The best part is it offers real-time and historical data in a fully customisable way! We’re definitely more than a PoS system.

Get in touch with us now to get your free demo of our system. Keep your eyes on our page next week as we’ll be diving deeper into our tool.