Skip to 0 minutes and 0 secondsOur biggest cost is staffing so and their second biggest cost is the is the building and the maintenance to the building. By looking at, erm we we used to have static hours. We used to say these are winter hours, these are summer hours, peak summer we'll open a little bit later. But with our data, we were able to to work out just how long people were spending in the building and we were also able to analyse, where the peaks and troughs were and then be a bit experimental about when we opened. So we've continually pushed the boundaries on that. Then using the data, having a database that we can interrogate.

Skip to 0 minutes and 40 secondsWe can do a very, very quick and at an instant comparison and see if is paid off. We know what the costs are, so we know what the return, what the benefits are showing the investments of that additional cost would be. It doesn't actually take us that many extra visitors, to make it worthwhile staying an extra hour, or an extra two hours. It's a challenge managing any business and one of the issues in tourism, is is is knowing when people are going to come. There's a lot of variables there. We know that if we get the staffing right on the day, then the visit goes well for the visitors and also for the staff.

Skip to 1 minute and 21 secondsBut if we get it wrong, if we have too many staff, actually the experience goes down, if you have too few staff the experience goes down as well. Of course too many staff, you're also incurring extra cost, because staffing by far and away are the biggest cost. So so one of our challenges is actually gathering all the data together. One of the key things is holiday periods. At attractions like this we have it, basically the holidays are the busy time. So but we need to know who is on holiday when? Which part of London is on holiday? That's going to actually make the difference to our visitors. So we have to be quite sophisticated with this.

Skip to 1 minute and 59 secondsSo we put all of that into a database and then we we assess, based on the the changing pattern of holidays, how many staff we're going to employ. I think the other benefit is that you can treat staff better, employees better. So using our booking data and our growth rate, we're able to project our level of bookings for the whole year. Some of it was accurate, some of it was less accurate. But it meant that I could give the team, an idea of how much work I had for them, for the whole year. So because we need a lot of flexible contracts, because some weekends are busier than others.

Skip to 2 minutes and 40 secondsThat means that we can be as fair as possible, in terms of telling people, okay, we think we've got you know, every Saturday for the next two months, we have work for you. Or actually, three days a week, a week for the next four months, we definitely have work for you. So I think you can look after people.

Data and your employees

Another key operational benefit of using data is the productivity gain you can get from connecting data to your human resource management.

In this video you will hear from a range of people across sectors talking about how different data sources can inform your staffing considerations. While watching the video, focus on what they say about:

  • How access to data can inform more appropriate staffing levels.
  • How staffing as a major cost factor can be made more flexible to save resources.
  • How having digitised and instantly available information can enable staff to improve service delivery.
  • How data can inform future demand projections to assure work hours for staff.

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This video is from the free online course:

Understanding Data in the Tourism Industry

Edinburgh Napier University