Data Science in Hospitality

The Role of Data Science and Its Importance in Hospitality Technology

In today’s world, big data rules. And never has it been truer for hotel operators. Hospitality networks are changing and so is the way that hoteliers are wanting to utilize their data. The increasing convergence of hotel services places heavy reliance on Wi-Fi as the primary transport mechanism. This dependence drives a growing need for greater network visibility and the application of data science to reveal unique and actionable insights to impact performance and guest satisfaction. 

From IPTV, casting services, Voice over IP, PoS, cleaning crew tablets, panic buttons, in-room energy management systems and more, networks are only becoming more complex. But without the expertise of data scientists who turn cutting-edge data into actionable insights, a lot of what we have is simply reporting. With more systems, apps, consumers, and behaviors being recorded every day, businesses are awash with data. The big question for businesses today is, how do we harness the power of this data?

Most data scientists in the industry have advanced training and degrees in statistics, math and computer science. This expertise extends to data mining, data visualization, and machine learning. This specific skill set helps companies understand how to mitigate risk and fraud, deliver relevant and strategic findings, and create personalized customer experiences.

Data networks truly are the most complex utility in a hotel, and make no mistake, hotel networks are now a mainstream building utility as important as power, water, and HVAC.  Hoteliers expect those utilities to be managed efficiently and reliably regardless of what new services emerge on those networks. The Cloud5 Hospitality Dashboard Experience (HDX) is an application platform purpose-built to accomplish that.

“Data-driven decision making is impossible without a figure who knows what and how to extract, analyze, and model. The data scientist is the central figure to achieve all this, with the added ability to communicate the findings with engineers, directors, and the leadership with clear language and visualizations. The insights from the communications turn into actions to lead the businesses in the right direction with evidence from data to support those actions,” states Alex Fux, Cloud5’s Vice President of Systems Architecture and Innovation. An important aspect in data analysis and communication of the data is how to take thousands of records and inputs and visualize them to understand trends and objectives clearly. Taking an overwhelming amount of information and being able to not only understand it but articulate it to stakeholders, coworkers, and clients add another layer of expertise to the role.

 

Cloud5 Score Predicts Guest Experience
Illustration: Building a “memory” of the property’s network performance using Cloud5Score enables HDX to detect anomalies, and then pinpoint problems with the help of component scores within the Cloud5Score. By 3:00 am, there is an ongoing issue at Property 13 that requires attention.

 

Data Deep Dive Gives Insight for Corrective Action

 

Illustration: The anomaly in the NSlookupscore pinpoints Property 13’s network issues to DNS resolution, the process that identifies the IP addresses of the servers where a website lives. This kind of problem directly impacts the guest web-browsing experience. With the tools available in HDX, any stakeholder may be notified of the persisting problems within minutes, and corrective action can be taken.

 

Alex works with the company’s product and innovation teams to better understand the Cloud5 customer while also strategizing and developing new products. By participating in HTNG, its application workgroups, and other technology collaboration events, Alex and his team engage customers and potential partners to create solutions to industry roadblocks. “We, at Cloud5, create ground-breaking ways to analyze, quantify and improve the health and the infrastructure of the entire network of our clients’ properties. Our newest product, Hospitality Dashboard Experience (HDX), uses cutting edge technologies and systems to provide and aggregate real-time data that is objective and available to different stakeholders of the property, as well as the guests if desired. Also, these systems empower our operations and support departments with taking proactive actions to provide superior service to our customers,” he continued.

Having a data scientist is like having a “data whisperer.” You really don’t even know what massive amountsof data can tell you until you have someone that can effectively interpret massive volumes into consumable, actionable insights.

As an industry leader and technology innovator, Cloud5 Communications embraces opportunities provided by data analytics, big data, and machine learning. In Alex’s words, “With the work we do today, we are transforming Cloud5 into a SaaS-based company ready for the future with applications and products that utilize big data, analytics, and machine learning across all of our services.”

 

Data Visualization of High-Priority Ticketing Identifies Trends

Illustration: Visualization of property locations and indicators of reporting in the system. Visualization of the data helps identify high-priority reports that a large data set may not make very clear upon first glance resulting in faster problem solving.

 

Through data science, businesses can identify opportunities, test decisions and use quantifiable, data-driven evidence to inform high-stakes risks. With simulations of potential outcomes, businesses can forecast their potential actions and learn which path will bring the best business outcomes. Which in Alex’s opinion revolves around the why rather than how. “With so many devices requiring close monitoring and intact network infrastructure, we are ready to offer the right solutions for the new customers, and the right upgrades for the existing customers, as the competitive edge will become even more data-centric. We will advise the clients on not only what to do, but why to do it with data and models we build with the data,” he said.

For these complex network management and user experience requirements, HDX was built; it not only delivers meaningful insights to those who manage the properties, but it also enhances reactiveness to adverse circumstances, streamlines workflow and ultimately maximizes guest satisfaction. With more and more devices coming online and the hardware of those devices improving, the type of data they deliver is becoming richer and more diverse. This increase in connectivity not only calls for an increase in precision and accuracy, but also the possible areas it can be applied, which fuels the demand for data science. Even with all the knowledge and learnings developed through data science until this point, we have just scratched the surface of data science and its importance to the hospitality business.

 

Article Contributors

Alex Fux, Cloud5

 

 

Alex Fux, Cloud5 Vice President of Systems Architecture and Innovation, has designed complex networks for the world’s leading hospitality brands. He is responsible for conceiving and developing the industry’s first network management solution designed from the guest connectivity perspective, the Hospitality Dashboard Experience (HDX).

 

 

 

 

 

Demirhan Tunc, Cloud5

 

 

Demirhan Tunc, Cloud5 Data Scientist, builds innovative, industry-first hospitality technology solutions using big data. Prior to joining Cloud5, Demirhan taught college mathematics for ten years and generated price data analytics for a major Chicago-based trading firm.