Data and Productivity

Working with data doesn’t always need to mean coming up with new products. More often, it can just help you refine processes and improve your services.

Developing a website can provide you with assistance in many different functions within the company. Taking data online will also allow you to have different data sources that speak to each other in meaningful ways. Think about feedback and reviews from different sources e.g. through the website, emails, offline forms and Online Travel Agents (OTAs). Having all the reviews in one place will allow you to understand exactly what customers are telling you.

Managing feedback is an exercise in listening to visitors and the better you get at it, the better the customer experience will be. It will help you focus on your key performance indicators and build on those. The challenge is to try and find a way that isn’t offline and time-consuming. Scot Beer, for example, are tracking feedback data across the experience by having guides filling in a form at the end of every tour. Datapoints such as the venues they went to, what beers they tasted, what the spend was, but also how satisfied the customers and the venues were, enables them to pick up on anything they need to deal with proactively. Recognising critical aspects before they become an issue has thus helped them increase their productivity while continuously ensuring great customer experience.

Mercat Tours, for example, have built an HR function into their new website to easily schedule all their guides. During Summer they can have up to sixty different guides with different availability. The data they feed into the website helps them to create rota schedules for the months ahead. Adopting data-driven software and solutions had become a necessity for Mercat after their company had grown and they saw themselves working with one giant spreadsheet that was prone to create errors and took one person too long to compile. Their new system involves a lot less human interaction than before and merely takes one person to oversee it and finalise the rotas. This way they can make a quite manual process much easier and faster. Now they have a bespoke system that gives their staff more assurance on their working hours.

Developing a digital online platform can be expensive at the start but will increase your productivity in the long run. Taking processes online can automate data inputs, which can save you time otherwise spent on manual processes. Initial costs generally related to resources such as time and money can then be justified through more efficient processes and effective use of data that can be compared and made sense of in real-time to improve your productivity. You must keep in mind what it is that you want from your data systems and that you know where your costs are coming from and which ones are producing results.

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This article is from the free online course:

Understanding Data in the Tourism Industry

Edinburgh Napier University