The 3 most essential dashboards for managing hotels

21 July 2022
Dashboards are powerful business tools connecting and aligning all team members in an organization through one truth based on the same data set. Embracing data-driven insights can make a hotel more competitive by strengthening the trust between all team members to take the right actions. In addition, visibility into essential hotel KPIs and business-critical information help hotels execute the overall strategy to reach their vision faster.
Well-designed dashboards deliver the correct information from consolidating different departments to help leaders to get an overview and make the right decisions. The laggards in the industry, still working in silos, with low visibility of the entire business and lack of alignment of the team, will never fully succeed in the highly competitive hospitality industry. The content in the three dashboards is straightforward and the minimum a hotel company needs to become successful.

Strategic dashboards for alignment

Most hotels only use analytical and operational dashboards. The main reason is that strategic dashboards require a clear vision for the future and a creative strategy to reach the vision. In addition, the time frame is often several years. Therefore, many hoteliers find it too difficult to stick to a plan since travel and tourism seem to change at an unprecedented pace.
 
A strategic dashboard aims to align all leaders and employees toward the same vision and goals. Top management wants everyone to work in the same direction without conflicting KPIs or interests. The strategic dashboard should answer the question if the hotel is moving in the right direction. Visualizing trends of the main KPIs will show top management the alignment to the strategy. The content on these dashboards tends to focus more on profit performance to ensure that the hotel will reach the profit targets.
 
Tracking performance over time with strategic dashboards enables teams to prepare for upcoming milestones and plan countermeasures when there is a need for strategic pivots.

Analytical dashboards for insights

The purpose of analytical dashboards is to provide instant insights that team members did not intuitively cannot easily find or think of. Examples are when systems look for anomalies, alert the users of findings, and need human judgments for potential actions. Visualizing data with charts optimizes the ability to spot data trends intuitively and immediately. Trends show what is happening over time in the hotel business, point to potential root causes, and can be used to support medium-term decision-making to improve profitability.
 
Analytical dashboards allow the team to see essential information, such as revenue growth, lead generation, conversion performance, profit margins, and other critical KPIs. The dashboards need to be interactive with the possibility to drill down to details to understand the reasons behind the insights and changes in KPIs. Team members should also quickly identify and share potential opportunities and exchange key learnings. Here are two examples of analytical dashboards for commercial team roles:

The segment analysis to understand customer behavior

It is essential to understand customer behavior to adjust the marketing mix to find more customers and sell more to each customer. The starting point is an overview sorted by revenue to focus on the most critical segments. Filter by many different variables and drill down to fully understand the customer behavior for each segment.

Market potential to capture a higher market share

Another analytical dashboard is an overview of market share compared to the competition. Analyze the performance under different demand strengths and drill down to specific days or segments. The potential analysis will inspire ideas to take action to increase market share resulting in higher revenue and profits.

Operational dashboards for short-term adjustments

Operational dashboards provide reliable visibility, ideally in real-time, into daily business performance and align with broader company objectives. In addition, having access to real-time information empowers team members to take immediate action.
 
All hotel team members need access to a well-defined dashboard to track all essential daily topline KPIs. Hotels typically follow total revenue broken down into a few categories, capacity utilization such as RevPAR and occupancy, market shares as RGI and MPI, and sales such as pick-up for future dates and number of incoming won inquiries. Team members should not only see these KPIs for current periods with relevant comparisons to previous periods, budgets, and goals but also the short-term and long-term trends. A dashboard with complete information will increase the likeliness of taking the right action.
 
Some roles in the commercial team need a combination of specific dashboards and workspaces where they can access information at their fingertips and take action in the same view to improve future revenue and profits. Here are three examples of dashboards for commercial team roles:

The sales dashboard shows pipeline activity and deals

Sales managers and salespeople gain detailed visibility into activities and progress needed to win more business with sales-focused dashboards. They can also analyze each salesperson's performance for any period compared to sales goals.

The revenue dashboard shows events and forecasts

The revenue manager needs a dashboard showing not only estimated future demand generated by future events at the destination but also forecasts from several data sources, such as the revenue management system. The revenue manager will take action based on alerts or visually easy-to-understand charts.

The pace dashboard shows the pick-up

A third example is to keep track of the pick-up and the pace of incoming reservations to find opportunities to increase rates or add campaigns to increase the number of guests. With an option to view pick-up for segments, channels, feeder markets, and other variables, hotel revenue managers can make more solid decisions to increase revenue and profitability.

Demand Calendar has all 3 types of dashboards

Using Demand Calendar, hotel managers save time and assess performance against initial strategies, enabling them to take action and follow up on the impact with the intention of continuous improvement. Once all team members are onboard and access the same information, hotels will see boosted performance, less waste of time and money, and increased profitability.
 
Demand Calendar is developed for hotels and has, therefore, already well-designed and customized dashboards for hotels. In addition, many data sources populate Demand Calendar with the specific data from each hotel, pre-analyze, and present the information visually. As a result, hotels can immediately get an overview of the business, start to take action, and improve profitability.