strategy and business

Winning with a data-driven strategy

The entire ethos of the Spanish hotel chain Ilunion is built on innovation, and its most powerful tool for solving problems is now data. In January 2017, Ilunion started giving detailed information about the company’s bookings and revenue to managers and staff so that they could make smarter decisions. The company’s system consolidates more than 12 million data points from different sources and presents it via user-friendly dashboards. For example, a pricing analytics tool recommends changes to room rates based on real-time supply and demand. Another dashboard shows key metrics such as revenue, average room price, and occupancy rates for each hotel, segmented by market and channel. That allows managers to spot problems early on so that they can take corrective action. Ilunion is now rolling out access to meaningful operational data in other areas of the business — for instance, the company’s health club and laundry services divisions — to sharpen decision making and inspire process innovation.

Ilunion was founded in 1989, five years before Amazon’s founding and more than a decade before the phrase was reportedly first uttered. Yet Ilunion’s story shows that you don’t have to be a tech upstart to demonstrate digital prowess. Its leaders, and those of other more established companies and organizations that have incorporated data and analytics into the fabric of the business, have been able to accomplish what many startups were designed to do from their inception: exploit data to hone and evolve their value proposition. For companies old and

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