4 min read

HR Group's VP of Digital Strategy on How to Collect Actionable Data

Learn how Adrian Schmidt's HR Group runs continuous practical experimentation to optimize profitability and core metrics.


Jordan Hollander in Operations

Last updated April 23, 2024

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Adrian Schmidt, the digital innovation leader at HR Group, a Berlin-based hotel company with 150 branded and independent hotels in its portfolio, is at the forefront of leveraging technology to enhance the guest experience. In a recent podcast episode, Adrian shared insights into how he is driving digital transformation within the hospitality industry. From implementing automation to utilizing open APIs, Adrian's strategic approach to technology is revolutionizing the way hotels operate. Learn more about Adrian's innovative strategies and the success of HR Group in this compelling article.



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HR Group's Secret Sauce: Structured Data Collection

Adrian Schmidt believes in focusing on collecting and utilizing only the data that is necessary for decision-making, rather than collecting data for the sake of having it. He emphasizes the importance of practical implementation and experimentation, urging a shift from overthinking ideas to taking action sooner. Schmidt's approach prioritizes working with less data but ensuring it is actively used to derive insights and drive improvements, rather than getting caught up in excessive data collection without a clear purpose. This mindset sets him apart from many hoteliers who may prioritize data accumulation over practical application and experimentation.

  • Automation Platform for Operational Tasks: The episode highlights the implementation of a data orchestration layer called NotMation, which serves as an automation platform for operational tasks within the hotel group. This platform allows for the connection of multiple systems and the automation of manual tasks, leading to increased efficiency and productivity across the properties. By automating repetitive and mundane tasks, the existing staff can focus on providing a better guest experience, rather than being bogged down by administrative duties.

  • Digital Check-in Experience: The discussion delves into the digital check-in experience offered at one of the properties, where over 90% of guests utilize the digital guest journey. Through a seamless process that includes pre-arrival registration, key card encoding, and check-out instructions, guests can enjoy a convenient and efficient check-in process. The episode also touches on the consideration of mobile key technology in the future to further enhance the guest experience.

  • AI Integration for Guest Service: The episode explores the use of AI in hospitality, particularly in automating guest service tasks such as answering reviews and providing real-time assistance through chatbots. By leveraging AI technologies, hotels can improve guest interactions, streamline operations, and enhance overall guest satisfaction. The discussion emphasizes the importance of carefully evaluating and implementing AI tools to maximize their benefits while maintaining the human touch in hospitality.

  • Data Collection and Decision-Making: A key takeaway from the episode is the emphasis on collecting and utilizing data effectively. Rather than focusing on gathering excessive amounts of data, the episode advocates for tracking and analyzing only the essential data that directly impacts decision-making and operations. By prioritizing actionable data insights and avoiding data overload, hoteliers can make informed decisions and drive meaningful improvements in their properties.

  • Continuous Learning and Adaptability: The episode underscores the importance of continuous learning and adaptability in the rapidly evolving hospitality industry. Hoteliers are encouraged to stay abreast of emerging trends, technologies, and best practices through online courses, conferences, and professional networking platforms. By fostering a culture of learning and embracing change, hoteliers can effectively navigate industry shifts, leverage new technologies, and drive innovation in their operations.

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Adrian's Tech Stack Philosophy

Adrian mphasizes the importance of selecting technology partners with open APIs that allow for data control and customization. He values software that can be tailored to fit the specific needs of HR Group's hotels. Adrian's approach to technology selection involves a thorough evaluation process, including researching, testing, and piloting software before implementation. He focuses on automation and efficiency, using tools like a data orchestration layer to automate operational tasks and boost productivity. Adrian's mindset towards technology adoption is centered around practicality and effectiveness, ensuring that the technology chosen aligns with the business objectives and enhances the guest experience.

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Hoteliers, in the ever-evolving landscape of hospitality, the key to success lies in embracing digital innovation. Adrian Schmidt's insights from the podcast episode shed light on the importance of leveraging technology to enhance guest experiences, streamline operations, and drive profitability. From implementing automation platforms to utilizing open APIs for seamless integration, the conversation with Adrian provides a roadmap for hoteliers looking to stay ahead in the industry.

One of the standout strategies discussed is the implementation of a data orchestration layer for automation, a game-changer in boosting efficiency and empowering staff to focus on delivering exceptional guest experiences. Additionally, the emphasis on collecting and utilizing data strategically, rather than simply amassing vast amounts of information, underscores the importance of making informed decisions based on actionable insights.

As the hospitality sector continues to evolve, staying abreast of emerging trends like AI, digital check-in experiences, and CRM systems is crucial for hoteliers to remain competitive and meet the evolving needs of guests. By adopting a mindset of continuous learning and adaptability, hoteliers can navigate the digital landscape with confidence and drive success in their businesses.

To gain deeper insights and practical strategies for leveraging technology in your hotel operations, we invite you to listen to the full podcast episode with Adrian Schmidt. Discover how digital innovation can transform your guest experiences, streamline operations, and drive profitability in today's dynamic hospitality industry. Tune in to Hotel Tech Insider and unlock the potential of technology to elevate your hotel business.

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Jordan Hollander
Jordan is the co-founder of Hotel Tech Report, the hotel industry's app store where millions of professionals discover tech tools to transform their businesses. He was previously on the Global Partnerships team at Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Prior to his work with SPG, Jordan was Director of Business Development at MWT Hospitality and an equity analyst at Wells Capital Management. Jordan received his MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management where he was a Zell Global Entrepreneurship Scholar and a Pritzker Group Venture Fellow.