Google Data Studio Connector for Clock PMS+

Google Data Studio is a Business Intelligence tool to create interactive graphs, tables, reports that will help you analyze your business’ performance. Like the other tools in the Google Workspace suite (Sheet, Docs, Slides) it’s powerful, easy and free to use.

In the specific case of hospitality, you can use it to assess your performance in everything from revenues and margins to digital marketing to reservations and footfall forecasts, to revenue management, in order to boost your income and plan the use of your resources.

 

With Data Studio you can visualize data from hundreds of data sources: Spreadsheets, mySQL, Google BigQuery,  Google Analytics, Facebook Ads analytics, accounting etc.

 

Nivula developed a connector for Clock PMS+, in order to enable hoteliers to add in Data Studio’s graphs and reports out of their most important data, extracted directly from the most advanced and complete PMS on the market, Clock PMS+, in real time and at a fingertip.

New to Google Data Studio? Read here.

New to Clock PMS+? Read here.

Terms of service: read here.

Installing the connector

You can install Nivula’s Clock PMS+ connector and start using it in Data Studio for a free trial period of 30 days, no credit card is required. When the trial period ends we’ll ask you if you want to subscribe to the service at €119 per month and send you a secure payment link.

STEP 1 - CLOCK PMS+ configuration.

During the connector’s installation you will have to provide authentication information, please follow the instructions here to create the authorization (API key) in Clock, so that Data Studio can see your data.

STEP 2 - Install the connector in Data Studio

Before starting the installation, please make sure to do it from the Google account that you intend to be the owner and configurator of the Data Studio connector and Dashboards because this has deep implications and is difficult to correct after the installation.

Only one user per property should install the connector; if others need to use the same data sources the owner of the installation can share the data sources or (better) the dashboards. Installing the connector twice for the same Clock account from different Google accounts will produce an error.

 

Please rest assured that installing the connector will not give Nivula SA nor Google nor Clock Software nor anybody else any access to your PMS data, it will just empower you to see your own data within your own account of Google Data Studio. The importance of using a connector is exactly this, you use a software tool and you do not need any external entity to see your data.

When you register to use the connector, Nivula SA will store the email address of the Google account you use to authorize the connector; this email will be used only to send communications regarding the ongoing licence for the connector use and to inform you on any new dashboard templates published in our gallery.

 

If you access Data Studio for the first time Google may ask you to set some privacy settings (email preferences and the likes).

(A) Click here to install the connector 

 

The connector will load with the message "Data Studio requires authorisation to use this community connector". Click "Authorise", choose the account you want to connect and a pop-up will load, telling you that the Clock PMS+ Data Connector wants to access your Google account. This will link your Google account to the connector service. Click “Allow” to continue.

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You will be asked to insert your credentials (i.e. the Clock API key you created in Step 1 - do not use your account password) only once, the connector will store it safely and you will not need to type it again.

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(B) create the Data Sources: 

this means connecting your data (the dataset) creating - in Data Studio terminology - a “Data source” where the fields structure in your data is described.

You will be asked the configuration of the account in Clock PMS+ that you want to create a connection to.

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Select a dataset. Supported datasets are:

Guest bookings

Room list

Room status

Day of stay

[Revenues] under development

 

Fill-in the same timezone of your Clock account settings, the number of rooms and beds and for all leave unselected “Allow timezone to be modified in reports”.

 

Start with the first dataset, Guest bookings, and click “Connect”.

(C) Rename your newly created data source: Data Studio assigns the name of the connector (Clock PMS+) to any new Data Source; in order to manage them correctly in your dashboards, you must rename them to include the dataset name; e.g. rename the first one you just created from “Clock PMS+” into “Booking Clock PMS+”.

In Data Studio, select the “Data Sources” tab and click the new “Clock PMS+” data source:

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And rename the Data Source:

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While some dashboards will use only one or two datasets, we strongly recommend that you create from the beginning all the data sources, clicking on the installation link (A) and repeating the process through (C) for each dataset.


 

MULTIPLE PROPERTIES: if you have more than one hotel / Clock account, you will need to repeat the installation process for each one, because the data connections are specific for each hotel account, in order to allow them to work independently and at a higher speed.

If you have more than one property, we recommend to include its name (keeping it short) in the Data Source.

A separate subscription and fee is required for each property account. You can add a new account at any moment, enjoying a free trial period for each of them.

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The connector needs to be installed only once for each dataset for each property, but after that you are all set and ready to work with your Clock PMS+ data for years.


 

DASHBOARDS: you can use the same data sources in any of your dashboard; you can    download our dashboards or create your own and share them for viewing or editing with all the relevant persons in your organization, without the need for them to go again through the data connection installation.

Please note that sharing a dashboard will not grant access to the underlying data or less so to the credentials (API key). More on this here.

Caching data to get faster responses:

after completing the installation of the connector and from the same Google user you used for installation, click here to install a caching system. This will pre-load two years of your data and make sure that the cache is updated hourly, saving processing time when you use Data Studio reports and graphs.

Your data will be stored in your Google Drive under the account used to install the connector.

This link should be used only by the “owner” of the connection and dashboards, as defined above i.e. the user that installs and authorizes the connector.

On installation, you will be informed of the actions the caching system performs and will be asked to authorize them, otherwise for your safety the installation will not continue.

Depending on the volume of data in your Clock account, caching could take from a few hours to several days, it will occur in the background between Clock Software’s and Google’s servers. In the meanwhile you can already use the connector, but processing large intervals could be very slow to plainly impossible depending on the volumes; please familiarize with the dashboards using small intervals.

You need to install the caching only once, all your accounts will be processed automatically even if added later on.

Compose your Hotel Cockpit selecting the dashboards from the Nivula template gallery

In order to swiftly pilot your hotel, select the proper instruments to equip the Nivula Hotel Cockpit and use each one as-is or personalize them to suit your needs.

We are happy to share with the customers using our connector a collection of custom templates. You can freely download them from our gallery.

 

Click on a template to preview it and if you decide to download it click “Use template”; a box will ask you to select your own data sources to use in the report, from those created in the installation. Remember that if you have more that one hotel you must choose the correct data source for the relevant hotel:

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The box may look like the one above if the template uses only one data source or to the following if more data sources are involved:

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Once connected to your data you will be immediately able to use the dashboard. You can modify our dashboards to suit your needs, add other data sources and use them as a base to build up your business intelligence. 

 

We would love to receive your feedback on how to improve our dashboards and make them more adherent to the hotel business needs; if you install our connector we’ll keep you informed of every new template that we develop and publish.

If you need professional advice to achieve your goals or you need a custom template, Nivula is here to help.

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Removing authorisation for Clock PMS+ Data Studio Connector

Remove your authorisation from the connector directly in Data Studio by clicking on Create, selecting Data Source and searching for “Clock PMS+”. Then click on the menu item in the top right of the "Clock PMS+" card and select "Revoke Access".

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Data ownership and reports sharing:

The reports, graphs, dashboards that you create, including the Nivula templates installed with the connector, are installed under the account of the Google user performing the installation. This user will be the owner of the connector and of the dashboards; he/she can share the dashboards with other users in the organization, enabling them to view or edit the reports.

Only the owner needs to know and provide the credential (API key) to access Clock PMS+ and only once during the installation of the connector. Sharing the reports with others will not give them access to the key, that is safely stored in the connector parameters under the owner’s Google user, inaccessible to anybody else, including Nivula SA or Clock Software.

Viewers will be able to use the dashboards, but will not be able to access the underlying data.

Editors will be able to modify the dashboards and to view the underlying data, but will not be able to see the Clock API key.

For more information on the authentication, you can read the instructions here.

Sharing your Dashboards

One of the great things about Data Studio is sharing your dashboards with colleagues, to whom you can give permission as Editors or Viewers. 

Editors may modify the structure of a dashboard.

Viewers can only use the dashboard, but still interact with it changing date range and filters.

PDF: if you want to share a static version you can download your dashboard as a PDF.

 

Schedule Email Delivery

You can schedule email delivery. This is ideal if you have regular meetings and great for keeping people informed.

 

Link Sharing

This is the easy way to share your dashboard, simply providing you with a generated link that you can send to others. 

 

Sharing Your Current Report View

We think this is the most useful, because any filter and date range you’ve applied to your dashboard will be carried over as you share it. When you share a Report Link, tick “Link to your current report view”.

Garbage in, garbage out - organize your data:

your results will only be as good as your data.

In order to perform a meaningful analysis of your data it’s of the foremost importance that they are clean and complete - the first rule in data science is “garbage in - garbage out”.

 

Use Clock controls to make sure that all the pieces of information you want to analize are filled during the input; e.g. if you want to see a breakdown of your sales by country, all bookings must include the guest country; you must properly setup Clock PMS+ validation rules and tables.

 

We also recommend that you do some planning and preparation on your data:

 

RATES: single rates are too parceled to be used for breakdown or aggregation of reservations; the Nivula Data Studio Connector engineered a method to aggregate them in ways that have a meaning for you; you will find in the data source the three fields ratePlan, rateTag and rateTag2, whose values depend on how you organize your rates in Clock PMS+.

  1. ratePlan: you can group sales by Clock PMS rate plan, if you setup your rate plans with a marketing meaning;

  2. If (as is usually the case) your rates are aggregated in Rate Plans using a logic that is not the one you want to see in your sales & marketing reporting, you can use in your rates two TAGS dedicated to the Business Intelligence:

    1. rateTag: apply to all rates a tag named “bi/……..” e.g. “bi/Prepaid”, “bi/LongStay”, ...

    2. rateTag2: Apply to all rates a tag named “bi2/……..” e.g. “bi2/LastMin”, “bi2/EarlyBook”, ...

Where the dots …... must be replaced with the categories you want to see in the Data Studio reports. Where you do not fill a tag, the rate plan name will be used as default value.

Tag names cannot include spaces e.g. “bi/Last Minute” is invalid and will be truncated in “bi/Last”. We recommend using short tags to make your reports more compact and readable.

In your Data Studio reports you will be able to use these fields referencing them as “ratePlan” “rateTag” and “rateTag2”.

We provided two tags so that you can use alternative aggregations, but you can use just one or none if your Rate Plan classification is significant for your analysis.

 

ROOM TYPE: Nivula Data Studio connector for Clock PMS will show on your booking two room types:

  1. Room_type is the type of room selected for the arrival (it may differ from the one booked and paid by the customers, in case they received upgrades);

  2. rateRoom is the room type of the rate picked by the customer in the reservation.

You can use either depending on the kind of analysis you need to do; you can use both in the same report and compare them to study the upgrade dynamics.

 

MARKETING categories: the main tools to aggregate your bookings are the three marketing categories provided by Clock PMS+. Make sure to set up a strict validation during the manual and automated input (Web Reservation System and Channel Manager).

  1. Marketing Channel

  2. Marketing Source

  3. Marketing Segment 

 

Nivula data scientists are available to assist you in setting up your data rules when you start from scratch. If your past data is not coherent (e.g. you changed the Marketing categories during the years or you need to segment your customers ex-post) we can work with you on a custom project for maximum results, leveraging a knowledge of Clock PMS+ data structure refined in many years of assisting customers, combined with academic preparation and deep experience in data analysis.