Online travel aggregators such as Cleartrip have been at the forefront of adoption of data & analytics and have applied it to number of business areas.
Data Analytics Industry-Most organizations today are making heavy investments in data analytics, strategy, and data-driven solutions. Why? Because data enables them to identify opportunities to optimize operations, processes, and functions. However, contrary to popular belief, it is not sufficient to simply aggregate vast volumes of data. The true worth of data lies in effectively analyzing it and in the insights that can be extracted from data to drive better business outcomes. And this is exactly where data analytics steps into the picture.
In my opinion, data analytics is a slightly broad with the spectrum ranging from basic data pulls to advanced analytics at the very edge of cloud computing. And that’s why, depending on where an organization is, in terms of its maturity & priorities, it becomes important to focus on the right things in this spectrum to derive impact. Online travel aggregators such as Cleartrip have been at the forefront of adoption of data & analytics and have applied it to number of business areas. In this piece, I will focus on few different examples illustrating how data analytics is helping and transforming the travel industry.
The basics: Reporting & BI (business intelligence)
“Without data, you are just another person with an opinion.” – W. Edwards Deming
Reporting and dashboards are the essential building blocks of any organization which help organizations track their KPIs and identify critical opportunities for growth. This essentially helps organizations translate their business strategy into manageable, operational actions and follow through progress on initiatives.
In the travel sector, seasonality is a very important factor that can have a significant impact on day to day business goals. This is what makes reporting even more essential. New-end BI tools even allow for responding to business questions like “what are the top travel destinations for Apr, May & Jun?” based on NLP (natural language based) setups. This really can help democratizing data across the organization so that everyone can make decisions powered by data.
Alerting and monitoring systems
Data analytics is also important when it comes to alerting and monitoring. The travel industry generates data in huge volumes. Manually keeping a track of such vast amounts of information is an impossible task. Analytics comes in handy with being the core of real-time alerting and monitoring systems to identify anomalies and rare observations.
Optimization and efficiency building
In business, each investment – whether of time, effort or money should reap concomitant dividends. Analytics is helping organizations prioritize their investments and redirecting them towards ‘what matter the most’.
Take marketing spends as an example – leading players in the travel domain typically have huge annual marketing budgets, especially for online promotions. Analytics help optimize these by looking at past performance across different marketing channels, and prioritizing spends as per the business goal to drive enhanced value. In the offline world as well, newer technologies like audio fingerprinting are enabling data collection at consumer level and so analytics is being used to optimize offline spends like TV & radio too.
Another major use case of analytics via bringing in efficiency into processes is ‘optimized customer targeting’. By understanding the behavior and preferences of different customers & segmenting them into value groups, marketers can derive a lot more efficiency from campaigns & marketing initiatives. Once you identify the intent of a user, you can deliver the right message at the right time via the right channel to acquire or require them.