Grow Fast or Die Slow – The explosion of travel data

The increasing level of smartphone adoption and internet penetration has changed the way companies connect and engage with their customers. It has led to the evolution of ‘always on’ customer who wants to connect to the company anytime and anywhere he wants. This has not only increased the customer touch points and ZMOTs but has also snowballed into a demand for personalized experience.

Initially, the only data with the travel companies was the travel itineraries of the passengers travelling. However with the evolution of the nexus forces (social, cloud, mobile) over the past few years, the information and data available has gone from scarce to super-abundant. With the global travel market growing exponentially with a 4% CAGR, the amount of data that one can analyse for the travel industry is humongous. big data Right from research and planning a trip, to making the journey and post journey experience, there are multiple touch points between the customer and the brand. And this data would continue to grow at exponential rate. According to a report by IDC, the world will generate 50x more data in the next decade. Quick facts:

  • Digital data is expected to more than double every two years globally
  • About 90% of the data currently generated is unstructured
  • In a few years about 80% of the information that companies manage could come from external sources.

Data Management is HARD. Business-Travel-Landscape The travel companies have been the first users to embrace the data and utilize data analysis to offer loyalty programs, price optimizations and avail better business insights.

However, the volume, velocity and the variety of data is increasing at exponential rate. And so is the thirst for data driven decisions across the organizations. This requires the organizations to build strong processes to design and manage their data structures.

volume,-velocity-and-the-variety Many organizations consider making the data accessible as the foundation of data driven decisions. It is true that if the users are not able to find the data they need, they won’t be able to run the analytics the business needs. But just providing the team with data gold mines and expect them to dig out gold, without the correct instrument, will be a waste of time for all. The challenge thus lies in finding out where in the data “is” the answer? According to IBM survey of CIOs, about 59% of BI analysts miss information that might be of value because they are not able to discover it.

Design. Organize. Manage.

The same problems will re-appear even if you re-invent your entire operations unless you are able to create data sets from data and utilize the same. The structures of metadata have become crucial to organize information and make it discoverable.  For example, the capture, search and analysis of airport navigation data could be associated with social demographics to discover another data set that may help the airline with in-flight sales and build smarter airport technology solutions. A lot of this data can help create airline mobile app services that are tailored according to traveller profiles.

The quality of the data inputted in the system cannot be overstated. A high quality data input is an important factor that drives the outcome of the analysis. Ensuring that the data that is fed into the system is accurate, valid, reliable, relevant and complete enables easy management of the analysis engine.

The management of the data across the travel landscape has helped the companies to understand their customers, provide personalized experiences and determine next steps to reach their aspiration. It is only with the management or mismanagement of data that the companies will be able to either grow quickly or die a slow death.

External Source: IDC Worldwide Big Data and Analytics Predictions for 2015

About the Author: Reema Nagpal has over 8 years of professional experience in Marketing, Strategy, Consulting & Sales Support at leading multi-national companies.  A research-driven professional, she has been creating winning propositions for sales through in-depth market intelligence and analysis. She is passionate about taking new ideas to the market and can be reached out at

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