By Lexi Honohan, Senior Director, Intelligence & Analytics, Advito
In late 2017, I had the opportunity to participate as a panelist for “The Data Future” teleconference, sponsored by The Company Dime. I was joined by Susan Hopley, CEO of UK-based The Data Exchange, and Erik Mueller, president and CEO of Grasp Technology. Jay Campbell, co-founder of The Company Dime, was our moderator. In a wide-ranging discussion, we examined the changing data landscape and how it may impact the future of the travel industry. A full archived version of this teleconference can be accessed here and downloaded for a $10 (US) fee.
I am so grateful for these discussions and open collaboration. When I examine how “big data” and innovation in analytics has transformed other industries, I am excited by the opportunities that lie before us in travel. What I have found is that there is definitely not a lack of data or access to it. The challenge most companies face is what to do with the information once they have it and how to align a data strategy with other key organizational areas impacted by travel.
If you look back in time, consider how the traditional use of core data (agency, payment and expense) brought transparency to travel spend. This resulted in significant changes; however, with the proliferation of big data, we have even greater opportunities. A promising area of growth comes from ancillary data sources that add more depth to the big picture. We can use this information to provide valuable prescriptive insights – backed by expansive multi-source data integration — and to drive behavior changes.
Another challenge has been data quality. Today, smart algorithms, new technology and robust data cleansing processes enable more automation, less human interaction and greater data manipulation. This enables us to derive a higher level of integrity and employ machine-learning capabilities. Depending on organizational initiatives, this could result in greater savings, better negotiating leverage or reduced risk in a crisis situation.
Data visualization brings additional advantages to travel management and the travel experience. It’s becoming more interactive and less static, with the ability to create responsiveness across devices. Rather than simply delivering data, organizations can now help travelers get from point A to point B with the right information in a digestible format at the exact time it is needed. These capabilities will drive actionable results in a way that was never before possible.
I invite you to tune into the teleconference (https://www.thecompanydime.com/downloads/teleconference-14-the-data-future/) for additional fascinating insights about the value of personalization, predictive analytics, data visualization and more.