We’re creating a more connected travel industry, underpinned by sustainability and long-term investor relations.
The influence of big data is clearly in the early stages, but it is already having a substantial impact on key processes in the travel industry. Some companies have already begun to implement a strategy to take advantage of big data, but many others have yet to even dip a toe into the water. One thing is clear though, of all the companies we interviewed and researched for our Big Data report, none contradicted the proposition that big data has the potential to dramatically reshape the travel industry.
Of course, the key now is to move from potential to reality—at least on a small scale. Here are five recommendations that travel industry firms can pursue today.
Research big data—At the very least, every organisation in the travel industry should ask the following questions of big data; Are competitors adopting it? Are customers beginning to use it? What is the trajectory of big data adoption and use within your segment of the travel business? And most importantly, can you afford to be a follower rather than a leader in this area?
2. Strategise about big data—Decision makers need to consider what is happening with big data in the industry, and how they might participate in the trends. Where in the business is there a need for much better data and better decisions? Where is there already data that could be useful either internally or to customers, but is currently being ignored? Considering both questions rigorously can yield a plan of action for big data. 3. Don’t just explore big data technology—As with other potentially revolutionary technologies, seizing the potential of big data is not just about implementing technology. To make effective use of big data, organizations will have to change business and operational processes, decision styles, employee skills, and corporate cultures. Continuous data flow, for example, requires a continuous decision-making process. The level of change may well be dramatic, but so is the potential benefit. 4. Start assembling big data skills—Since data science skills are the scarce resource with big data, organizations need to begin assembling them now. If you don’t want to hire them internally, start exploring what vendors or consulting firms can supply them to you. Make sure they are adept at data management, analytics, and solving and communicating about business problems. If you have to hire a team to compile all these skills, make sure they work well together. 5. Work with partners—The travel needs of today’s customers are intermodal, international, and interactive. No single travel provider is likely to meet any customer’s needs for a seamless experience. Start now to partner with other firms to provide the big data experience that your customers want.
Have some other ideas about how the travel industry can start taking advantage of Big Data? Let us know!