For most hotels the key technology is the PMS which has been defined as “a set of application programs that directly relate to hotel front office and back office activities e.g. revenue management, reservation management, room and rate assignment, check-in & out management, guest accounting, folio management, account settlement and room status management” (Kasavana & Cahill, 2007, p.4).The PMS has certain functionalities which are, at the most basic level, 1) rooms management and 2) guest accounting. Consequently, the PMS collects significant amounts of data of a customer, financial and inventory nature. However, hotels have other sources of data (from historical operations, financial reporting and from surveys used to collect information on an ongoing basis about the business and its customers) and also from other application sources e.g. customer relationship and loyalty programmes, electronic point of sales (EPOS) at food and beverage outlets, online from their websites and those of 3rd party distribution websites.

The main objective here is to investigate the sources of data, determine the integrity of this data and how the data are effectively used in both operational and strategic decision making. Additionally, the sources (internal and external), their validity, and their linkage through the PMS will be examined. We will research the different software available for PMS, the key determinants of the choice of a specific system by a hotel, and explore the advantages and disadvantages of each. We will investigate how each department in the hotel collects data, what types of data are collected & in what time intervals, and if this data is linked through the PMS used. Finally, we will discover how the data are used in decision making and day to day operations of the hotel, what levels of access and input are optimal, the capacity of management to utilize these data sources, the effective sharing of data to support the functional departments in a hotel and the extent to which data management may be optimized to enhance customer service and management requirements. It is anticipated that a “model of best practice” in data management will be designed to benefit hotel operations and management.

September 2009 – June 2011
Financial partner: HES-SO

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