The Important Attributes of Big Data to the Travel Industry

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By 2022, the global travel industry is expected to grow to ten percent of Global GDP or a yearly revenue of around $10 trillion. Travel is a massive industry that could become much more efficient when big data is completely implemented in each and every aspect of travel. The travel environment is no stranger to data. Each and every airline reservation, every hotel stay, rental care reservation creates data. However, now travelers are making trip arrangements on the web, posting reviews, ratings, blogs and the like on social networks that result to more but highly fragmented data.

Travel firms are known to capture and store massive amounts of data. During each step of the journey, they collect data like flight paths, customer data, transactions, checks-ins and more. Until recently, data was just stored and travel firms had difficulty in actually putting the data to use by combining different data sets. With the sheer amount of computer power, powerful and cheap storage solutions like Hadoop and a lot of Big Data startups waiting to help, the information could be finally put to use to make customers feel better serviced and more appreciated, that result to more income and higher profits.

The following are five things that the travel industry should be doing when it comes to big data.

  1. Focus on strategy and forget the hype. It is important to look at the strategic goals and priority areas for the organization and start small. A travel firm could make a difference using data without being overwhelmed by it.
  2. Getting personal right. Big data opens up possibilities of increasing traveler personalization and thus value. Big data-based personalization could be based on factors like social media relationships, customer behaviors geo location, ancillary sales, service or schedule disruptions or even the whole journey itself. The key is to first understand consumer needs, motivations, desires and requirements.
  3. Practice what one preaches. With Big data, it is important to look inside as well to determine how to apply it for internal advancements. Big data could make a company more effective, knowledgeable and profitable in areas like risk management, operations, revenue management and marketing. The ultimate goal is aggregating and analyzing relevant data in real-time for decision making that is proactive.
  4. Data scientist should be the new best friend. Data science skills are key in successful big data outcomes, thus companies should start assembling them now. From data scientists to Chief Data Officers, ensure that they are adept at data analytics, management and solving and communicating business problems.
  5. Be a partner toward the purpose. Today’s travel customers’ needs are international, intermodal and interactive. It is important to partner with other firms or experts for the support to help achieve company and customer objectives.

The number of big data startups focused on the travel industry is growing. They aim on helping hotels forecast and understand future demand patterns. Big data has an integral role in delivering a more tailored and efficient travel experience with benefits to travelers and travel companies alike. Thus, travel firms should focus on their data efforts in two areas, namely, boosting customer experience and internal operations.

About the Author

Ritesh Mehta works as a senior Technical Account Manager in a software development company named TatvaSoft Australia based in Melbourne. He specializes in Agile Scrum methodology, Marketing Ops (MRM) application development, SAAS & SOA application development, Offshore & Vendor team management. Also, he is knowledgeable and well-experienced in conducting business analysis, product development, team management and client relationship management. 


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