You probably hear about data all the time in the hospitality industry. Guest preferences, seasonal trends, growth opportunities in your sector. You are probably swimming in data. But sometimes do you feel overwhelmed by it all?
But first, why is data and research important? Here are a few key points:
- Gain a competitive advantage before your competitors
- Identify new trends and changes taking place in the industry
- Increase your understanding of current customers and target markets
- Can lead to more effective decision-making and planning
- Aids in training and mentoring of staff
In this year’s Hotel Yearbook 2020 – Digital Marketing, Professors Dr. Meng-Mei Chen and Dr. Alessandro Inversini from the École hôtelière de Lausanne (ELH) Switzerland discuss the power of data science in hospitality in their article, “The datafication of hospitality: Three reasons to start looking into data science.”
How can you find data research specific to your industry which can benefit you now so you can make informed decisions? It is not as far away as you think.
HFTP Research Centers
The HFTP Research Centers were founded as part of HFTP’s initiative to provide the hospitality industry with the highest quality resources and research. There are three HFTP Research Centers: HFTP Americas, HFTP Asia and HFTP Middle East.
All HFTP members have free access to the HFTP Research Centers and can take advantage of this unique benefit.
Why should you request research from HFTP?
Research can cost a lot of time and money when carried out independently or by contracting a third-party research company. The centers are affiliated with prestigious higher learning institutions around the world, including The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management and the School of Hotel & Tourism Management at Hong Kong Polytechnic University
The Research Centers are designed to be specifically beneficial to hospitality technology and finance professionals, and they base their work around what members want to know.
How does it work?
The staff at the Research Centers are here to answer questions big and small. Depending on the nature of the inquiry, the answer may be as simple and quick as an email — or it may warrant more time for an in-depth analysis.
- If the answer to the member question is something which has been previously covered in one of the Research Centers resources, the staff will direct the member to the right place and may recommend additional options.
- For specific accounting questions, the staff can put you in touch with an expert in HFTP’s network. If the inquiry is relevant to a wider audience, the staff may publish the response through the HFTP Connect blog.
- For inquiries for which there is limited relevant literature already available, it will be considered for long-term study and may be incorporated into one of several research reports released annually by HFTP.
How can you get started?
- Determine Your Research Objective
- What specific problems are you or your company currently facing? What information is already available to you? What is missing?
- Examine Past Research Examples
- Some of the most requested topics include: accounting practices (USALI and USFRC accounts and recording), best practices in the budgeting process, budgeting IT costs and trends in IT expenses, labor costs, sample job descriptions for clubs and hotels — as well as human resources topics such as hiring and employee retention (turnover), full time equivalents (FTEs) by department, and salaries and wages by job.
- Share Your Ideas
- You do not have to have a question to get involved with the HFTP Research Centers — If you have a bright idea, bold opinion, or interesting project related to hospitality technology and/or finance, the HFTP Global staff want to hear all about it. Your ideas could become an HFTP article or blog post which can assist other HFTP members.
You can also brainstorm ideas, ask questions and share resources on Community@HFTP — an online network comprised of thousands of fellow hospitality professionals from across the globe. Resources are frequently shared on the platform. When you are an HFTP member, you are automatically invited to join the conversations taking place on Community@HFTP.
Published HFTP Research Center Content
Some of these research articles are also featured in the HITEC® Special Report. This report is a comprehensive, annual publication that focuses on current trends in the hospitality technology industry written by experts and presented by HFTP, the producers of the HITEC.
The Research Centers publish a quarterly email newsletter, which is distributed to HFTP members. The Dubai HFTP Research and Innovation Center at the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management also publishes the HFTP Bulletin, which can be found on the HFTP website and PineappleSearch.
All of the HFTP Connect blog posts listed below were generated in response to research inquiries we received from members:
- Cybersecurity Article Series
- Ransomware: Sorting Out the Details
- Hurricane Season: Is Your Organization Prepared?
- Facts about Service Animals in the Hospitality Industry
- Paycheck Checkup: The IRS Encourages Taxpayers to Review Withholdings
Questions? Inquiries and questions may be submitted to Bianca Lopez, Research Associate at the HFTP Americas Research Center or to one of the staff at the HFTP Asia or HFTP Middle East Research Centers.