News for the Hospitality Executive
Call to Action:
July 16, 2012
Travel companies can use data analytics to create competitive advantage but it is not just what you know that wins in this dynamic business, it is about how fast you make sense of it and what action you take. Ritesh Gupta investigates
Travel companies are taking a closer look at formal data management strategies in order to derive more value from data assets. Data analytics is an interesting prospect for the travel sector as so many data streams can be combined.
As IBM points out, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is created each day. Furthermore, 90% of the so-called ‘big data’ in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. This rapid generation of data from mobile devices, social media, cloud computing and so on calls for action from all businesses and those in the travel industry are no exception.
To date, many travel companies have utilized data analytics in areas like revenue management, capacity planning and network planning or inventory management. But these analytics applications are typically stand-alone and do not interact or share information with other systems and processes across the enterprise.
“Today, travel companies should be utilizing advanced analytics to better understand their customers’ needs and preferences, and then design a highly customized sales and service process to meet those needs - thereby, enabling them to grow, retain and satisfy the increasing expectations of today’s traveler's,” says Greg Land, associate partner, global industry executive, travel & transportation practice at IBM.
According to Land, the data and associated analytics must be managed so that it can be shared across the enterprise to improve everyone’s understanding of the customer as well as the speed of decision-making.
In addition, advanced analytics is being used to increase operational efficiency, transform financial processes, manage risks and improve safety and security.
Putting a plan in place
Building interconnected data streams is an organic process. You can’t make it happen overnight. As firms plan to take the plunge, here are some expert recommendations:
The company also has travel clients integrating advanced analytics with enterprise marketing systems, such as Unica, to help them develop more targeted and personalized campaigns. What is more, this can also help to improve the sales conversion of offers and as a result, improve the return on marketing spend.
More travel businesses are also embracing technologies that gather, organize and understand online consumer sentiment.
“There is also much focus on advanced analytics with mobile applications and social media, to better understand how travelers are using these channels and continue to improve how they can be utilized to relieve traveler pain points throughout the shopping and booking processes, as well as during the journey itself,” says Land.
On how to convert data sources into actionable business intelligence, IHG’s Shah says one can do so by:
There is a ‘big data’ revolution underway in the travel and hospitality industry but travel companies need to be clear about the challenges.
According to Land, hurdles are related to managing and benefiting from massive and growing amounts of data, dealing with the uncertainty around format variability and velocity of data, and handling unstructured data.
“These all apply to the travel and transportation industry more so than ever - shopping and booking activity across multiple channels, traveler and transaction data from reservation systems, activity from campaign management and loyalty programs, activity from social networks and many others,” says Land.
So travel companies must map out a basic plan to optimize the use of ‘big data’ and employ advanced analytics. Land advises firms to:
“Efforts to manage ‘big data’ and operationalize these advanced analytics means the offices of the chief marketing officer and the chief information officer need to be more closely aligned and working in collaboration on the requirements for the enterprise to create competitive advantage,” says Land.
A few points that these two teams should consider:
EyeforTravel is a leading business intelligence provider for the online travel and tourism industry. As well as providing some of the most in-depth research into global online travel markets and trends, EyeforTravel produces a series of senior executive travel conferences on a diverse range of topics including travel distribution, online marketing, social media, mobile and revenue management. For more information visit www.eyefortravel.com.
Global Events Director
London, UK: +44 (0)207 375 7219
US Toll Free: 800-814-3459 (Ext: 7219)
Director of Events & Industry Analysis, EyeforTravel
London, UK +44 (0)207 375 7229
US Toll Free: 800 814 3459 (Ext. 7229)
Storm in a Teacup and Lessons Learned / Ritesh Gupta & Pamela
Whitby / July 2012
and Don'ts for Travel Campaigns on Facebook / Ritesh Gupta /
Travel Marketing Strategies Based on the Strength of the Devices /
Ritesh Gupta / February 2012
the Expectations of Last Minute Mobile Bookers; Customer Expectations
are Driving Changes in the Online Travel Business / Ritesh Gupta /
2012 is Going to be 'The Year of SoLoMo' (Social, local, and mobile)
/ Ritesh Gupta / January 2012
How to Measure Social Media: An Interview with Barbara Pezzi, Director
of Analytics & Search Optimization, Fairmont Raffles Hotels
International / December 2011
& Hospitality Brands Need to Make Mobile a Top Priority for 2012
/ December 2011