It is amazing how every hotel seems to reinvent the wheel when it comes to reporting. In my 5 years installing our applications I have seen 100 different ways of showing the same information, be it daily flash reports, month-end reports or production reports. What was the same for all these customers however was that the information HAD to be shown in a certain format. Funnily enough, the format seemed to change with every change of GM – a new GM meant a new-look flash report with new names for the same metrics.
What use are these reports though? Often they are compiled in a way that can be manipulated, the data comes too late to do anything useful with and it is often so summarised that delving deeper requires printing a whole new set of reports to answer the ‘why’ questions. The simple answer to resolve this has often been to implement a ‘business intelligence’ solution which will provide the right data to the right people in the right format at the right time – but is it really that easy?
Having done a few business intelligence (or ‘BI’) projects recently with our OPERA BI module, we have really found that the key to success lies in answering the questions of what is the ‘right data’ and who are the ‘right people’? If you get this right, getting the format and the timing is easy.
For the Excel ‘junkies’ out there the slice-and-dice capabilities exist, and for the iPhone users most BI solutions come with their own apps.
But beware – business intelligence projects need to be thought out and managed carefully to be successful. The solution needs both constant promotion and policing throughout the business to ensure that it is being used and that team members aren’t returning to the old habits of redoing reports in their own format.
A little bit of intelligence in the planning will see that your BI project produces good results.
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