Top 5 revenue and data management stories that came up trumps in 2016

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Revenue and data management is something that is growing in importance for travel businesses, a trend that will continue into 2017

We’ve had the top five in travel distribution and mobile & technology in 2016. Now it is time for the most-read stories in the category RM & Data Management which all have useful pointers for travel brands to carry into 2017.

1. Hyatt on how to get your pricing staples right

Christen Garb, Hyatt’s VP of RM, gives some insights here into how the group is constantly looking to improve the way they integrate revenue management into the company culture. One of the biggest mistakes hotels make is to overprice from the outset but this is now seen as a somewhat dated approach. Garb stresses that you need to get pricing staples right from the very outset and has four recommendations: understand your market, position yourself carefully, measure, measure, measure and code every rate to a market segment.

2. How American Airlines is taking a more ‘spirited’ approach to fare charging

Regular guest columnist Tom Bacon delves into American Airlines’ pricing strategy in this piece where he first points out that four airlines are charging the same price for a particular itinerary but offering slightly different services. This prompts him to ask the question: Can’t the largest carriers charge more for their superior (and higher cost) products? Being revenue management, the answer isn’t entirely clear-cut, but it does highlight how American ‘matches’ competitor fares selectively and prudently with the aim delivering profitability.

3. Is Spirit the Donald Trump of the airline business

Tom Bacon ponders here the upside of a contrarian approach to airline RM. ‘Everyone saw his [Trump’s] unconventional approach, which many regarded it as ‘dumb’, as non-threatening; they almost universally underestimated his appeal,’ Bacons writes. The same is true for Spirit with its controversial commercials, pure focus on price and overuse of superlatives. And, yes, well as it seemed to work for Spirit, so are there any lessons here?

4. A day in the life of a data scientist at AccorHotels

Managing your data today requires a team of data scientists but what exactly do they do? Kevin Tran-Dai, who is chief data scientist at Accor, shares what a typical day involves which gives some insights into how this digitally driven chain is managing its data. He identifies numerous challenges that face the team daily that include: analysing customer’s reviews to detect pain points during the stay; identifying travel trends using open data to increase the efficiency of search engine advertising (SEA) by country of origin; and developing the ability to have a 360-degree view of a customer to detect optimal triggers for dynamic pricing or to de-duplicate (the practice of eliminating repeat copies of data) databases with partners.

5. The future of automatic pricing in travel

With the rise of vacation rentals comes a business focused on providing RM tools for this segment of the market. Beyond Pricing, which won this year’s EyeforTravel North American Startup & Innovation Awards, automatically generates and uploads pricing for rental properties on sites like Airbnb, VRBO and Flipkey. In this exclusive interview with co-founder and CEO Ian McHenry we hear some defining industry trends including the move towards forward-looking, predictive analytics rather than relying on historical rates and ‘open pricing’ which is, in essence, the ability to yield for individual room types. Another trend that is expected to continue into 2017.

Want to find about smart revenue and data management? Why not join us at the upcoming Smart Data Travel Summit, North America (Feb 22-23, 2017)

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