Big Data & Analytics Heroes

Menka Uttamchandani

VP, Business Intelligence, Denihan Hospitality Group

Many businesses are exploring the competitive advantages that data gives their customer experience and their bottom line. Menka Uttamchandani, VP of business intelligence at Denihan Hospitality Group and this week's Big Data & Analytics Hero, shares that “once we understand attitudes, we can reverse engineer our marketing message to reach our high potential guest as well as guests that look like them, that are not yet our guest.” 

How are big data and analytics changing your business strategy?

We are in a number of US markets and a large concentration in New York, one of the most competitive hotel markets in the world. The hospitality industry has become very competitive. There are a lot of great products in the market, and there’s not a lot of differentiation. A competitive edge can be the analytics and the information one uses to really make better decisions.

How have big data and analytics impacted how you do your job today?

Pricing optimization is key in our industry. Being able to have the right room, the right guest, at the right time, at the right price is critical to a profitable business. Once we understand attitudes, we can reverse engineer our marketing message to reach our high potential guests. Smarter analytics with IBM Cognos business intelligence has really helped put us down this path. We are able to use the smart information to take big calculated risks, but not blind risks.

What "gold nuggets" have you uncovered using big data and analytics?

Our focus at Denihan is on anticipatory dashboards and reports. These allow top management to access very smart information without getting mired in excessive details. It tells you all kinds of information that we have about them and their patterns of business and predicted usage with us which is really critical information because this helps our sales team make really great strategic decisions. These insights about understanding what channels a business comes through, what are the more profitable channels, and how can we encourage our guests to book through channels that help us serve them better as well as are good for the bottom line for us.

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