Skip main navigation

Getting to know your business data

We suggest questions you can ask in order to identify relevant data.

Part 1: Thinking about your business operations

Use these questions to begin the process of identifying data to confirm your own assumptions. First, answer these questions without looking at any data sources – go with your intuition. Write your ideas on post-it-notes or cards, you can then group them and find patterns and connections within your answers. You can come back later to the answers after some data exploration to confirm if your intuitions were correct.

  • What types of tourists do you get? (demographics)
  • Where do your customers come from?
  • What their impacts are, positive and negative
  • Who you would like to see in greater numbers, and who in fewer?
  • Who is missing (consider whether there are types of tourist who are not currently visiting but who would bring benefits)
  • What time of day are you most busy?
  • When do people book?
  • How long do they stay?
  • When do they visit? (nationalities)
  • How much do different types of visitors spend?
  • Are you too quiet/busy?
  • what market are you in?
  • Do you know events in the future? Brexit?
  • Is there a market for a new product we are developing?
  • What is the drop-off rate during the booking process?
  • Where are our visitors traveling from?
  • Why is something happening?

Part 2: Selecting data and identifying costs

Now consider what data sources you could use to verify your assumptions or gain insights. Use different coloured notes to distinguish between the assumptions and the real sources. For example, you might use your booking system to identify when people most typically book or the booking window/lead time before visiting. Are there any gaps in the data you have access to? Are there any suitable alternatives you could use? Once you have completed your analysis, photograph your results or write your findings in a table or spreadsheet.

© Edinburgh Napier University
This article is from the free online

Understanding Data in the Tourism Industry

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now