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This content is taken from the Edinburgh Napier University & Scottish Enterprise's online course, Understanding Data in the Tourism Industry. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 0 seconds I think the importance of data but also open data, is really a catalyst for how tourism and hospitality can move forward. Some businesses have a fear about sharing data, but actually they can anonymize quite a lot of that and the benefits for people to actually access it and use it and come up with, new products or ways to make things better I think is really underestimated. In terms of sharing data, it really depends on the business of what they’re looking for from it. I feel that historical data if it’s anonymized, there are no issues with that whatsoever. You can share as much detail as you want with a partner or collaborator on a project.

Skip to 0 minutes and 34 seconds I think collaboration around data is really important and that’s where some of the best ideas come from. I think if you both go into it with a very clear expectation of what you’re looking to use and how you’re looking to use it, it shouldn’t stop you from doing anything. One of the, I think one of the best things for us, as an organization in terms of engaging with broader data strategies was to, to stop thinking and protect, a protective way about our data, that actually when we found when we enter spaces, willing to say well we will share our data you get that reciprocated.

Skip to 1 minute and 4 seconds And then what you have is this, huge metadata set that there’s layering lots of different things that you wouldn’t ever normally be able to access and that will give you much broader insight. But I think people feel that, sometimes people worry that their data is precious, so if they hand it over they might lose control over that or they might lose some sort of commercial advantage, or some sort of commercial exploitation out of that. But actually, I think as long as you know the bits of it that you, you don’t want to let go of and everything else I feel putting it into an open space, with trusted collaborators in an exchange will add value to both partnerships.

Skip to 1 minute and 39 seconds So finding those organisations that might not necessarily feel like they’re your and they’re in your sector, might actually add those those layers. So you know, we’re layering transport and hotel and train and Festival and and all of those things and potentially some pedestrian data from NASA. But engaging with those wider strategies and being, being willing to chip in your data set, will have huge amounts of return on investment I think. We don’t publish our data. So I can say that we’re one of the busiest attractions in the city, but we don’t, we don’t publish that.

Skip to 2 minutes and 14 seconds However, to our friends and colleagues who we work very closely, we do share that data and to our trade association we share the data, so that it goes into their big data set, so they can track how the city is doing, and how the country is doing. There is an issue about sharing data it’s a very sensitive thing, so, for example where the visitor surveys it’s handled by a market research agency and we do that because they, they handle that side of things impeccably.

Benefits of data collaboration and sharing

In this video you will hear about the potential benefits of sharing data and that you shouldn’t be concerned about doing so providing that you follow some rules concerned with data protection.

While watching the video, think about your own worries around sharing data and how these might be turned into opportunities.

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This video is from the free online course:

Understanding Data in the Tourism Industry

Edinburgh Napier University