The battle over trusted and consolidated data

The battle over trusted and consolidated data

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Christopher Meignier
January 17, 2024

The Business Intelligence and Analytics market in the hospitality industry is entering a new generation but the industry has come a long way. It started with on-premise servers, which were really difficult to manage for both IT teams and people in operations. I remember having to go into the basement of my first hotel to change the layout of the Micros POS interface. While it required heavy investments for the business, my and colleagues never really get the benefits of the analytics of our equipment. It was pretty much impossible for anyone to get analytics out of it. But the data was there. 

Then, it seems that we entered into the era of data democratization with cloud-based solutions which focused on making data more consumable and accessible with a brand like Mews. You had no clarity on some data such as OR, ARR and RevPart like never before but also there was a fundamental shift requiring people to change the way they work, getting out of their everyday workflows to execute traditional repetitive tasks they got used to doing such as printing a night audit report that is now obsolete with this technology. This era also brought “open API” and “Integration marketplace” which enable your property upselling tool Oaky to work your Booking engine and have data synced 2-ways for instance.

But yet, this era did not manage to give hoteliers a 360 view of their business with all the software and hardware they are now using they are now using. STR also came along bringing more data to benchmark your property against your comp sets.

We are now at a point of transition between these two eras which offers a new, agile way for hospitality businesses to merge all the data in different touch points. Tools like Salesforce, Tableau or PowerBi helped create synchronised data visualization for many companies and did it successfully for most of them. You see, unlike other industries, a hospitality business has its very own metrics and specific tools. These generic business intelligence tools could not cope with the huge ecosystem of tools hoteliers were using such as now PMS, point-of-sales mobile ordering solutions, hotel or restaurant apps, digital room keys, online or on-site check-in solutions and collecting a huge amount of data. Until specific Business Intelligence tools for the hospitality industry came along and hoteliers make better use of their data.

Taking action on real-time analytics

As consumers, we rely on and expect updates in real time so we can make better-informed decisions. Uber, Airbnb, Google,, and Citymapper are all real-time solutions that help us make decisions faster. In our hotel or restaurant, our employees, partners and customers also make decisions every day that impact the bottom line so why wouldn’t we expect the same level of insight at work? Insights from analytics are no longer a luxury, but a necessity for achieving competitiveness whether in internal stakeholders' workflows or customer-facing apps.

E.R.S.M (Efficiency & Revenue Streams Management)

We have a strong community of hospitality data experts here at Blent and as the founder of the company, I get the chance to speak to them a lot. Unanimously, our community constituted of hotel managers, revenue experts and finance directors have a single goal. They all look to improve efficiency and identify new revenue streams. I can easily bet that in a few years, we will have new roles such as efficiency and revenue stream managers. 

Making data accessible

We realised with our customer that data is still not easily accessible for the teams who will most effectively take action on it. Only a small percentage are built into nearly all of their tools and workflows to help reduce the analytics adoption gap. It is often given by head office teams far from the reality of the “floor” that will make some assumptions and hypotheses for the property.

Companies taking action

When working for McDonald’s, they used to heavily optimize ‘Recommended Items’ and ‘Suggestive Sell’ recommendations across digital menu boards and generate incremental average checks through business intelligence. This simple action has been able to add cents or even a few euros which when multiplied by the number of properties can represent billions of incremental revenues.

Another example is Michel Reybier Hospitality. The team was pulling several reports and manually combining them to create an Excel report that would then be sent out to all properties. Without modernizing their business intelligence, they would have continued to do time-consuming Excel reports and the increased chance for human error. Michel Reybier needed to find the right data stack in order to eliminate unnecessary processes under one reporting system to drive the efficiency of their teams.

Five Guys, a pretty well-known QSR company, wanted to get data into the hands of end users at the speed of business for ad hoc data needs. Blent Business Intelligence made it easy for all Five Guys end business users and operation efficiency to search data and uncover the insights needed to adapt quickly to business changes.

Launching Blent

When I started Blent in 2019, we wanted to help the industry get its hands on all these data and potential insights in one place. So if you are a modern hospitality company that has all of these digital touchpoints, and you need to get that data into a tool for your finance team, a tool for your F&B people, a tool for your revenue management team, etc. and so that connective tissue, that infrastructure that makes all that data consolidated in one place, that's what we provide. Our goal is to create a Business Intelligence and Analytics tool for hospitality businesses that makes data digestible.