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One of the greatest benefits of advancing technology is the quality and quantity of data a business can generate. Obviously, data is the key factor responsible for improvement and for better business. There is no limit to how much data you can obtain, and this is exactly where modern technological advances play a major role. Instead of having to wait for something to occur so that it can be recorded, businesses can make more precise estimates and predictions, and drive their marketing activities in amplifying the results of these expected outcomes.The key word for today’s technology is ‘smart’. ‘Smart’ refers to a system of technology that functions in real-time. It is immediate, it is expansive, and it is more accurate than it ever was. Take for example a smartphone. Owning a smartphone is like having the world at your fingertips! The things you can do with a smartphone keeps increasing by the day.It is the same thing with Smart Data- it happens in real time, it is more in-depth, and it is more precise in making predictions that hotels can take massive advantage of!

What is new in Smart Data?

Hotels worldwide focus mostly on keeping a track of their past guests or recurring guests. This data, called as ‘Big Data’, is vital for hotels to retain their existing customer base. However, the problem comes up in marketing. If you are aware only about those who are regular at your hotel, how can you be sure that your marketing strategies are appealing to all potential customers and not just the segment of people who would come to you anyway?This is the main drawback of Big Data - it simply has no predictive value. Besides, it does not help you tap the greater market resource out there!Besides, much of what is learned from Big Data is just information, which can sometimes even be useless information, because, from an active point of view, this data simply has no value at all!Smart Data is a new system of tracking market information in real-time. This system places emphasis on generating information that can actually be worked upon. For example, what do you know about travelers who have an interest in visiting your location? Here, instead of limiting yourself to knowing what your previous visitors’ preferences are, you are constructing a map of what those travelers would expect from you as a hotel. This way, you are not simply focusing on retaining customers but are actually venturing out to seize the many opportunities of increasing your business that would otherwise get wasted!

Greater role of AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has a huge role to play in obtaining Smart Data. Real-time information is the gift of AI technology which businesses around the world are increasingly taking advantage of today. AI is no more an option for business but a necessity that hotels will have to make use of at some point of time or another- the sooner, the better.Rather than replacing Big Data, the Smart Data that you churn out should be made a part of what your hotel defines as its Big Data. As a combined body of information, your Big Data will not only help with customer retention but also make sure that you don't lose out on potential business opportunities.

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