Julia Baunemann is Business Intelligence Consultant with a focus on tourism intelligence by visualizing tourism data to make it more accessible for everyone.
What are your superpowers?
I love tourism (who doesn’t) but I also love the dynamics behind it and how trends in tourism are influenced by certain events, especially now with COVID-19. I also love data, and two years ago I started to focus more on the visualization of data and found my newest passion.
There is a lot to learn out there but since it has almost become like a hobby it´s very easy to make progress because whatever dataset I get in my hands I just visualize to see what insights are hidden in there. Apart from the data, my friends would probably also say my other superpower are my cooking skills, the more elaborate and time consuming the recipe, the better.
How do your strengths play into the work you do?
In tourism, many decisions are still not taken based on data but based on experience and intuition. There is a lot of data available but it is often hidden in tables that many people are still scared of.
So my aim is to turn that fear of data into confidence by enabling people to be more comfortable around data by showing them data in a more visual and intuitive way.
Coming from a background in tourism paired with data skills, it helps to bridge the gap between the very practical tourism industry and the technical part of data analysis. Also the fact that I love learning new things and trying to come up with solutions for everything that is asked of me helps a lot in an industry where the topic of data and business intelligence is rather new.
Imagine your best hospitality experience – how does it look like?
For me, the best hospitality experiences were usually not in a luxury setting.
For example, the Airbnb experience in Italy where the old Italian couple who hosted us would prepare us the most amazing homemade Italian food and although we had no language in common, we somehow managed to have a conversation for hours (that Italian wine might have helped a bit).
Or the hotel on a small Indonesian island where the rescue cats and dogs of the hotel would just casually drop by in your outdoor shower while watching an amazing sunset. It is often the experiences you didn’t book or expect that leave the biggest impact.
What brings you the greatest joy at work?
For me working with data is almost a bit like a treasure hunt, working through the data and finding insights, this actually brings me joy. Also seeing how colleagues who had been afraid of data before told me that thanks to my visualization of the data they finally can understand the data and started using more of that data is exactly why I love my work so much.
I understand that not everyone can be as excited about data as I am, but seeing that I can share that passion a little bit is a nice side-effect of my work.
Also before taking the decision to work as an independent BI consultant, I was working at the World Tourism Organization. Being surrounded by so many nationalities, especially many young people and having shared offices, lunches and afterwork drinks with them was definitely an amazing experience that I definitely miss a bit now.
Your advice for women in hospitality and travel-tech:
The best advice for women in hospitality and travel tech is to never stop learning new things because it is such a dynamic industry and which is getting more and more professional. Being up-to-date with the technological advances will give you a clear advantage.
It doesn’t matter where you work, figure out which technology or skills are currently in demand in your area of work (or in the area you want to be in the future) and make sure you take courses in your free time, even if they are for free or without an official degree, it’s about the skills you learn and not the degrees you have.
Don´t be afraid to show that you have acquired those skills. Especially us women deal with a lot of imposter-syndrome thoughts on a regular basis so it is important to remember that learning new skills is an ongoing process. Don’t compare yourself with someone that has 10 years more experience than you do, compare yourself to your own self one year ago and you will realize how far you have come since then.