Boost-inn lets Smaller Hotel Chains Gain Five-Star Insights Using Sisense Embedded Analytics
Tackling the Magnitude of Data Sources Flooding Hotel Management Industry
Boost-inn is a leading hotel management solution that helps customers manage multi-property mid-size hotels. Boost-inn connects to the entire hotel IT ecosystem to provide an integrated platform that now includes business analytics, to SMB’s in the hotel industry who are struggling with scattered, inconsistent data sets and the lack of a centralized IT system and resources.
After evaluating several top embedded BI solutions and experiencing Sisense’s ability to aggregate, prepare, analyze and visualize as many disparate data sets as needed, Boost-inn discovered that they could use Sisense to replace half a dozen separate software systems.
Since implementing Sisense as embedded analytics in their hotel services solution, Boost-inn has helped their customers increase opportunities by gaining the knowledge and ability to engage their guests. Sisense dashboards analyze sales data of guests to reveal insights about the behavior of guests–such as where they are dining and what utilities they are using– in order to configure smart responses and the proper improvements, optimizing the customer experience.
“Sisense dashboards help our customers see the guests perspective, so they can more effectively communicate with the guest, before he books, when he books, and after he is gone for continued business.”Bahadour Moussa, Evangelist at Boost-inn
Together with Boost-inn, Sisense has been instrumental in helping the hotel industry take charge of their data and recapture the ownership of the guest.
Industry: Technology, Hospitality & Travel
Company: Boost-Inn is a leading provider of web solutions for the hotel & hospitality industry
Data: SQL data warehouse, 5 GB of data per client
Bahadour Moussa, Evangelist, describes the hotel industry culture as one that is still entrenched in the hardware culture: “Property management businesses tend to use Windows based hardware, they are on-site, heavy, and require a dedicated and expensive maintenance personnel team. When you have 10 systems like that holding precious data, it’s a real problem since it’s impossible to connect and collaborate the data,” explained Moussa. This challenge is why Boost-inn saw an opportunity to use BI to connect, manage, and analyze hotel management data.
In the hotel industry, data is scattered and coming from many separate data sources that all speak different languages and harbor inconsistencies. Similarly, since hospitality businesses often lack of IT resources, centralizing and managing this complex data is also a large overhead. Recognizing these challenges, Boost-inn was looking for a BI tool that could store, clean and prepare data data–even before the visualization process.
Another consideration was to find a BI solution that had a powerful and rich embedded analytics option. Even though building software such as web-booking and even a CRM in-house was feasible for Boost-inn, Moussa quickly realized it was not realistic to spend the required time, energy and maintenance cost building a BI tool in-house.
CEO of Boost-inn, Olivier Sivriere, explained the decision to choose an embedded analytics tool: “When it comes to BI, there is no way we can keep up with the advanced innovative and ease offered in the BI market now– it’s simply too big and mature of a market, and we don’t have the bandwidth to keep an internal BI system up-to-date.”
During the evaluation process, Boost-inn looked at several legacy BI solutions that could handle complex data, such as Cognos, but wasn’t impressed since the solutions were overly technical for a notably non-technical hotel industry, and had high cost of ownership.
“Since most property management systems are Oracle based, the cost of ownership is a real issue for the hotel industry. Who would pay that kind of money for another Excel spreadsheet?”Olivier Sivriere, CEO at Boost-inn
Similarly, while Salesforce.com provided some analytics, Sivriere felt that it ultimately served best as just a CRM; Using Salesforce.com for BI proved to be expensive and cumbersome: “If you compare the cost of maintaining Salesforce.com as BI solution and the cost of a real, powerful BI software, it is equal, especially with a BI tool like Sisense that has such a low cost of ownership,” Sivriere explained. Sisense, proved to be the best of both worlds with a low cost of ownership, and the ability to easily analyze multiple big and scattered data sets.
Boost-inn also needed the “best-looking BI tools on the market”, with an intuitive UI to cater to their non-technical audience, causing Boost-inn to evaluate Sisense, Tableau, and Qlikview. “The first thing we liked about Sisense was the UI and design,” recalled Moussa. After requesting a free Sisense proof of concept, Boost-inn was able to use Sisense on their live data. “We really appreciated that Sisense offered a POC on our own data, because we understand that conquering these scattered data sources is the key challenge for us,” explained Moussa.
Ultimately, Boost-inn chose Sisense because it offered both a beautiful and powerful embedded BI solution, with advanced white-labeling options:
“That’s where we fit well with Sisense that provides an enterprise grade datacube to handle data complexity, combined with top-notch ease-of-use.”Bahadour Moussa, Evangelist at Boost-inn
After implementing Sisense, Boost-inn found it to be very straightforward and extremely powerful:
“Sisense is an easy tool to use, even though we deal with a complex environment with a lot of concurrent queries and multiple datasets that all require a high level of customization.”Bahadour Moussa, Evangelist at Boost-inn
Since embedding Sisense, that is the gap that Boost-inn has been able to fill by connecting the different property management systems and providing easy-to-use BI dashboards with all of the data combined. “Sisense is very easy for nontechnical users to understand, allowing us to play with the relationships of each data source in the elasticube. Once you see where the data is stored it becomes very sexy and interesting,” Moussa said.
Together with Boost-inn, Sisense is helping the hotel industry reappropriate themselves with data, and recapture the ownership of the guest. “Sisense dashboards help our customers see the guests’ perspective, so they can more effectively communicate with the guest, before he books, when he books, and after he is gone for continued business.”
Now, Boost-inn has over a dozen customers, all luxury hotels across France, with data on more than 400 rooms for each hotel–and considering there are around 50,000 reservations, with typically more than one guest per reservation. Meaning, Sisense dashboards are analyzing data of between 50,000-100,000 people annually, per hotel, as Boost-inn serves half a dozen hotels and growing.
To illustrate the complex, tailor-made requests Boost-inn encounters on a daily basis, Sivriere described one of the dashboards he has built using Sisense that analyzes sales data to isolate populations of guests that come to each hotel. Hotels can learn where the majority of their guests came from, where their guests are dining, and what they are dining on–even drilling down to what kind of champagne is most popular among guests:
Understanding insights like, which guests visit the hotel spa, but dine at an outside restaurant, helps hotels make better offers to their guests and increase business. Some key performance indicators updated daily that Boost-inn measures using Sisense include:
- Gain customer knowledge
- Reduce customer churn
- Own communication channels
- Drive staff productivity
- Engineer smarter responses
- Increase room occupancy
- Establish brand recognition
While all other hotel management systems are struggling to use and maintain legacy tools like Cognos that dominates the hospitality market yet does not support smaller players, Boost-inn has gained a significant competitive edge by implementing Sisense. “A lot of hotels we speak to are not using BI, they are using property management systems and SEO and trying to get data, or they are using 4-5 different systems, but BI adoption is less than 10% in the hotel industry. So, we know that filling that gap is huge.”
Though BI is a hard sell in the hotel industry, Boost-inn says that once users see the data-driven decisions they are able to gain, hotels are jumping on board–especially the bigger ones. “Employees armed with meaningful data have a clearer idea of who customers are and what their past experience has been. With the right tools, they can in turn implement live and smart responses and engineer constant improvement,” concluded Moussa.
In fact, Boost-inn is considering taking the next step by reselling Sisense, as well as using Sisense internally to better understand how their customers are using the Boost-inn platform.
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“Before Sisense we had a strong centralized CRM and hotel platform; after embedding Sisense data analytics we can offer an entire hotel management solution. A huge part of becoming an off-the-shelf product was embedding Sisense as our BI and Analytics.”Bahadour Moussa, Evangelist at Boost-inn