3 Ways to Break Down Data Silos at Your Hotel

A data silo is a collection of data clustered away in one system, section, or department that other parts of the organization cannot access easily (for instance, if each department had their own excel spreadsheet and refused to share). 

Data silos present a problem for your property for multiple reasons. They make it challenging to gauge the whole picture of your business, and department actions may be counterproductive because they do not have the most recent and accurate data. Determining the accuracy of your data when it’s squirreled away like this becomes more difficult as well. Lastly, silos pose a security risk. If you have multiple silos, you have to properly protect each one, and it’s easier to slip up. 

Here is how to eliminate data silos at your property for greater operational efficiency, visibility, and success! 

Use a Strong PMS

A property management system (PMS) is key to breaking down data barriers. Consolidating data into a centralized database, including guest information, reservations, billing details, housekeeping status, and more, a strong PMS integrates various functions, ensuring data is accessible across departments and updated in real-time.

Your PMS should be cloud-based, which enables authorized staff to access data from multiple locations and devices. This makes it easier for everyone because they can retrieve information on the go; they don’t have to hike down to the front desk computer every time they need to look something up. 

Make sure your PMS integrates with your other technology partners so that data can be shared automatically between systems. This eliminates manual double-entry and reduces data errors. The data will be the same no matter what system an employee looks it up in. Tip: Choose a PMS like WebRezPro that comes with a wide variety of integrations. This way you won’t be boxed into using a particular solution because they’re the only one available. 

Not everyone needs access to everything, just the data they need to complete their day-to-day tasks. Choose a PMS that permits you to assign users different access levels. 

A smiling hotel receptionist ready to greet guests with a tablet PC in hand.

Establish Guidelines

Establish clear guidelines for how and where you need data to be entered. Otherwise, you may end up with fifteen employees who enter data in fifteen different ways. 

Make sure that employees know how to use your tech systems (job shadowing and gamification can be winners during the training stage). If you personally don’t know how data should be entered, then take advantage of that training yourself. This ensures that you can answer any questions and catch when it’s done wrong. 

WebRezPro allows you to set mandatory fields within the booking form to ensure you collect the information you need. A guest profile search and merge function for cleaning up duplicate profiles also help to maintain data integrity.

Create a Culture of Collaboration

Encourage staff to engage and share information where needed. Do people in different departments know how best to communicate with each other, and who can resolve what issue? (Your PMS comes in useful again here as do internal messaging integrations like Breezeway or HelloShift.)  

Staff should collaborate, not compete. Nurture an “all for one and one for all” attitude so that crucial information isn’t dropped through the cracks. 

To establish a positive culture at your property, where collaboration abounds, treat your staff with respect and have clear procedures for resolving any issues. Reward employees and show appreciation on a regular basis. If you don’t, then that once-a-year team building getaway won’t help much.

Staff in different departments should know how their tasks and accomplishments impact the company as a whole, not only their specific part of it. Share how each department contributes to company goals. If you haven’t established company goals, consider a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) with input from across the board. 

Data silos prevent you from fully understanding your business and can stymie your bottom line. Use these tips to bring them down so that you have a clear, accurate picture of where your property is right now…and where you can take it in future.