Math Majors – Future Revenue Management Superstars?
Updated: Oct 18, 2019
On April 7th, I was privileged to be one of the FIU Visionary Leaders participating in a roundtable session. The group of about 20 was split into teams to explore questions about Big Data within the revenue management discipline. The purpose of each team was to determine 3 things:
What the issues are
What the opportunities are
Where further research or action is required
The FIU grad team will create a white paper based on our discussion notes. My team discussed monetizing data and predictive analytics. The first thing we did was to define what makes data actionable. We determined that among the things that make data actionable are the 3 V’s:
Volume (how much data there is – how much is too much and how to sort through it all)
Velocity (how quickly is it available, which determines it relevance– i.e. old data is not as relevant as data that is minutes old)
Variety (data that reflects a variety of perspectives on the same subject)
Among the issues we found are the challenges surrounding finding and nurturing revenue management talent. The new trend in recruitment looks to math students to fill the roles of revenue analysts. The logic here is that you can teach a mathematician to be a hotelier, but maybe not the reverse. As you can imagine, there was wide variety of opinion and lively discussion on this subject.
The thinking on this subject includes the recruitment from STEM programs allows data scientists to have a forward looking view to gain understanding of the real demand. By increasing the math requirements within hotel and business schools it creates relevance and increases the practical experience for when these students graduate by having a skillset that is in demand – current hotel salary levels notwithstanding. Indeed, a number of hospitality schools and programs are already merging or affiliating with STEM programs – FIU and Cornell among the most visible.
The team determined that case studies would be helpful in visualizing the success of such a recruitment strategy. Documentation of the recruitment methods, training, mentoring and outcomes in terms of success in improving TOTAL revenues (not just rooms), services and forecasting. What information is best to use for analysis (360 data sources, text mining)? What’s the right balance between automation and manpower? (I wrote about this last year.)
A number of other issues, opportunities and research/action requirements were identified and discussed – too many to cover here. We’ll have to wait for the white paper. But the food for thought here is already ripe!
The industry is certainly moving in a direction I could not have forecasted even 10 years ago. We’re training our future hoteliers much differently that we used to and many hotel schools are going to have to adapt to ensure successful and valuable graduates going forward.
#hotels #mentoring #lodgingproperty #hotel #HospitalityAnalytics #recruitment #recruitmentskills #PriceOptimization #training #hotelorresort #revenuemanagementskills #staffdevelopment #RMS #revenuemanagement #hospitality #HEDNA