Upping the travel ante with information management and analytics
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Upping the travel ante with information management and analytics Upping the travel ante with information management and analytics Document Transcript

  • Business white paperUpping thetravel ante withinformationmanagementand analyticsHow to enable better serviceand greater efficiencies by miningstructured and unstructured databy Ashim Bose
  • Like most other modern industries, meaning from both unstructured and structured data sources to drive efficiencies, and new talent models to produce differentiatedthe airline industry is on a mission to customer buying experiences.generate revenue, curtail expenses, Succeeding in this new world of consumer travel requires providers to overcome the big data challenge – aggregating and analyzingand boost profits. High fuel prices and millions of transactions and billions of interactions to unlock the secrets in the data, and processing the information until tellingrising operating costs make it a high- patterns become evident. Valuable data can be extracted from all levels of the enterprise systems, including the structured databasesstakes business to be in – leading travel traditionally relied on to run the business:providers to look for innovative and • Ticketing and reservations • Customer supportnontraditional revenue sources. • Ancillary salesFortunately, the industry still shows signs of growth, with the • Trade dataFederal Aviation Administration (FAA) forecasting that passenger • Irregular operations (IROPS)travel will double over the next two decades, with the number of U.S. • Maintenance logsair travelers reaching 1.2 billion by 2032.1 Although it can be a riskybusiness to be in, it’s also one with a history of stability. Weathering • Crew schedulinga number of challenges such as 9/11, the SARS scare, and the most To gain deeper insight on the most compelling business drivers,recent financial crisis, aviation managed to grow 53 percent global information from internal and external unstructured sourcessince 2000.2 can also be mined. Potential sources include data pulled from onlineToday, one of the challenges the industry faces as it continues to sales, call notes, text and media messages, web chat, blogs, mobileevolve relates to customer satisfaction: air travel continues to applications, survey responses, and email.generate low passenger satisfaction scores, and recently was inthe bottom three among 47 industries polled (in the company ofcable TV and newspapers)3 – which probably helps explain why Correlate services offered todetermining how to achieve customer loyalty is more important thanever. One study suggests that even a five percent improvement in buyer behaviorcustomer retention would result in a 25 to 100 percent increase in By aggregating and analyzing this data, travel providers can moveprofits – also noting that repeat customers spend, on average, 67 from a one-size-fits-all marketing approach that used to marketpercent more than new customers. 4 beach and golf resorts to people with no interest in either beach or golf, to a targeted process to market family activities to parents withAnother element at play is the amount of information we digest on a young kids, or off-the-beaten-path restaurants to travelers whodaily basis. In today’s information age, we’re constantly bombarded tend to avoid chain restaurants and have a preference for certainon a daily basis, inundated with both structured and unstructured types of cuisine.data that offers both business- and human-friendly information,conveyed privately and via shared/public channels. The sheer Today, rather than conduct focus groups to help identify whichvolume of information we encounter can be daunting, but the good products and services best resonate with customers, airlines cannews is the airline industry is uniquely qualified to leverage this interpret unstructured data, using that information to measuredata into a competitive advantage, with an evolving, technologically demand. And instead of only being able to determine which offeringsadvanced business model that uses information from both direct are the most popular, sentiment analysis in call centers can provideand indirect channels – business intelligence used in everything even more valuable information at the granular level: noting whichfrom the airports and planes to IT systems and mobile applications. agents and/or platforms are most effective, which scripts generate the strongest results, and how the latest offers are impactingWhen navigating these modern complexities, the traditional customer attitudes toward the airline.approaches, legacy architectures, and organizational models thatserved the industry well in the past no longer deliver the results The value of information can be monetized by constantly monitoringnecessary to survive and thrive in the consumer travel industry unstructured data such as consumer comments posted online ontoday. Victory will go to those bold enough to embrace innovative Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Social media data is frequentlysolutions that provide actionable intelligence at the right time to harnessed to inform which services or solutions are green lightedthe right decision-makers, advanced technologies that extract and rapidly delivered to the customer base. 1 “2011 Saw Modest Airline Industry Growth, FAA Says.” AINonline, http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/ain-air-transport-perspective/2012-03-19/2011-saw- modest-airline-industry-growth-faa-says, accessed on October 2, 2012. 2 “Global Market Forecast 2012–2031: Navigating the Future.” Airbus, http://www.airbus.com/company/market/forecast/, accessed on October 2, 2012. 3 “U.S. Airlines Scored Poorly in Consumer Survey,” Wall Street Journal, June 18, 2012. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303703004577475002478 830004.html, accessed July 30, 2012. 4 “Retain Your Customers in a Down Economy,” HP viewpoint paper, h20195.www2.hp.com/v2/GetPDF.aspx/4AA2-8064ENW.pdf accessed on October 2, 2012.2
  • Information management and analytics (IM&A) also improves IT By mining valuable insight to drive tailored services, increasedefficiency by integrating data that currently resides across the convenience, and emotional engagement, IM&A createsenterprise but has traditionally been stored in disparate silos of opportunities for travel providers to:information (including archives). In addition, it allows enterprises • Innovate to develop new revenue streamsto monitor the results of customer surveys and relevant blog postsin ways that positively impact brand awareness. By empowering −− Upsell incremental servicesindividuals to quickly respond to customer service complaints, −− Tailor fares and offer other preferred products and servicesespecially those of high-value customers who have numerous online −− Correlate buying behaviors to services offeredconnections, friends, and followers, travel providers can turn a −− Enable competitive revenue managementnegative brand sentiment into a true “wow” experience. • Differentiate the customer buying experienceStructured data can be leveraged to offer insight into what each −− Perform dynamic sentiment and behavioral analysisindividual has bought or indicated as a preference in previous • Identify customer buying patternstransactions. And the unstructured data will often measuresentiment analysis and gauge that individual’s propensity to • Determine how competitors are influencing the marketpurchase. Together, the data allow airlines and other travel • Increase efficiencies by reducing time and effortproviders to replace the educated guessing game that characterized −− Enable real-time decisionsyesterday’s travel marketing. • Mobilize airport operations • Handle IROPS efficientlyHow IM&A leverages a fair advantage • Coordinate maintenance • Optimize crew schedulingIM&A enables better-informed business decisions that can be madewhen they need to be made, accommodating a world that’s “always −− Mitigate riskon.” By leveraging tools surrounding the business drivers and trends • Assist with information gathering during mergersrelated to big data, risk management, cloud, and mobility, IM&A and acquisitionshelps make information matter to benefit the customer experience, −− Accommodate legal requirementsimprove organizational efficiency, offer successful product andancillary services, and grow revenues. For a high-level view of how information goes from insight to action, see figure 1.Figure 1: How information becomes action • Tailored services Information Events management • Increased convenience and analytics • Emotional engagement delays weather Integrated travel experience luggage mechanical Actionable insight discounts upgrades airports hotels car rental travel agents rail station command frequent flyer center program 3
  • All together, these opportunities enable traveler providers to deliver an integrated (and improved) travel experience. To ensure access to Personalize the most current and useful information, airlines should consider IM&A can also be used to deliver personalized services and the following avenues: attention. Airlines can leverage the power of information to tailor fares and other products and services by supporting a range of • Context-aware analytics, which use information about the user to configurations to permit variable pricing, offer timing, targeted improve the quality of an interaction through dynamic sentiment passengers, and offer bundling. For families traveling with small and behavioral analysis children, bundled movie and meal packages sold at prices below • Pattern-based strategy, which permits enterprises to identify new their a la carte fees tend to be popular, and parents who know their patterns, model response, and adapt the organization to execute kids will be able to enjoy one of their favorite movies worry less the response – enabling airlines to correlate customer buying about how they’re going to keep everyone happily occupied for the behaviors to services offered next three hours. For flights that take place during regular meal • Monetizing information, which connects the information within times, travel providers can offer several meal options, and make an enterprise to allow airlines to tailor fares and bundle other them available to the traveler when he or she is booking the trip. products and services to increase ancillary revenue Another example pertains to how an airline might use intelligent • “Shared” information ecosystems, which exchange data between search to increase annual bookings and revenues. Most travelers systems, departments, customers, and partners, thereby reducing have a budget in mind (although they may not know what the time needed to collect data for mergers and acquisitions destinations are available in that budget), and many customers like activity, litigation, issues associated with irregular and off- to view photos or videos of recommended travel locations. Armed schedule operations, and more with this insight, an airline could develop a graphical user interface (GUI) that makes location recommendations for customers, showing them what’s available without requiring them to spend hoursUpsell requesting flights and fares to find a match.One solution that helps airlines grow revenue and benefits the The program could allow travelers to input their budget,customer is to upsell customer-focused incremental services. preferred travel dates, and interests before generating a range ofConsider the following scenario: if an airline knows that Bella destinations. In addition, it could also suggest trips by analyzingloves to travel but hates to carry her own bags and pay a high fee an uploaded video to “find places like this” or show frequent flyersfor checking luggage (as she’s indicated in no uncertain terms which flights have seats that can be purchased with air miles. Socialon Twitter), the airline can use this insight to offer a discounted media could also be leveraged by allowing travelers to post detailsbaggage fee at the time of booking the ticket. about their upcoming trip to Facebook or another site, a post thatHP put this concept into practice to help Avis remove the guesswork might spur friends or acquaintances to join them or book theirfrom determining what price customers were willing to pay for GPS own getaway.in their rental cars. By mining online traffic of five million unique In addition, facial recognition software technology will soon enablesite visitors, the HP Autonomy Optimost solution tested 10 different airlines to analyze real-time images of customers, match themprice points in 10 different locations and came up with an offer to against the customer databases, and provide their travel profilesignificantly increase their online booking revenues.5 information to the gate agent before the passenger checks in, thereby enabling a more personalized interaction. The traveler 5 “Global CIO: Autonomy, Part II: Multivariant Testing And Killing The Hippos,” Information Week, May 18, 2009, http://www.informationweek.com/news/217500589, accessed on July 31, 2012.4
  • walks away from the gate desk feeling less like a face in the crowdand is more likely to book future travel on that airline.Measure and influence sentimentOne of the most significant ways that IM&A can be used is to monitorand impact customer sentiment. For example, if a vice president ofmarketing notices that her airline’s growth has stagnated, she canprogram a search of the social networks, blogs, and the airline’sintranet to evaluate passenger bookings, free-form survey results,or other text or recorded conversations. By analyzing customeropinions, grammatical nuances, and voice inflexions, the softwarecan determine that while passengers like the airline’s new routesand fares, they miss the personal touch points the airline initiallyearned a reputation for providing.Managers can then put together a strategy designed to improve thecustomer conversation and increase touch points, with analyticssupplying near real-time feedback such as which call center scriptsare most effective, which products and services are most popular,which offerings bring in the most revenue. Collectively, this greaterunderstanding of what its customers want leads the company toreturn to a period of growth, see more positive customer sentiment,and note greater staff productivity, which is closely related to the Minimize riskimproved interactions with customers. And while it’s not necessarily one of the more intriguing benefits, IM&A is also inherently valuable in helping travel providers mitigate risk through mergers and acquisitions and other legal processes.Gain efficiencies The ability to aggregate and search structured and unstructured data enables powerful meaning-based computing, which canIM&A also unlocks the potential in data to improve airline search text files as well as voice and video recordings for relevantefficiencies, by giving airline staff members the information they information.need to make educated, real-time decisions pertaining to airportoperations mobilization, irregular operations, maintenance, and HP helped create an electronic data reference model (EDRM) thatcrew scheduling. For example, off-schedule and irregular operations uses a pattern-based clustering framework to locate relevant and(OSO and IROPS) have traditionally been costly, manually intensive applicable data, which is particularly useful with the e-discoveryoperations characterized by a lack of sufficient business intelligence process often used in legal cases. HP’s technology to support ERDMand analytics – and which typically lead to customer dissatisfaction goes beyond archiving and storage capabilities: information-basedwith the issue’s resolution. archiving and storage expedites information retrieval, making discovery more efficient – both in terms of time and labor costs sinceThe solution is to make the process automated, rules-based, electronic search minimizes the time and the number of individualsand configurable, supporting the rules surrounding other airline needed to review materials.(OA) prioritization, hotel agreements, passenger status, etc. Theoutcome: faster and better decision-making based on real-time For example, HP recently helped an international shipping companyand historical data; improved utilization of crew, equipment, seat to rapidly ingest 60GB of raw email PST files, half of which wereinventory, and fuel consumption; enhanced customer satisfaction foreign language documents. By using Early Case Assessment, theand increased retention; reduced head count by minimizing the legal team was able to reduce the review volume by 95 percentmanual labor required to support OSO and IROPS; and continuous before the project went into production. An automatic detection ofimprovement of the re-accommodation rules based on available multiple foreign language documents and native language searchhistorical data. dramatically reduced the time and cost required. And as a result, the data was produced and accepted by the U.S. Department of Justice inAnother example around improving operational efficiency is related accordance with their standards, leading to a tremendous avoidanceto connecting airports. With hundreds of aircraft connecting in risk and cost savings of 50 percent.throughout the day, not having accurate aircraft arrival informationcan result in unnecessary costs and passenger disruption. Thesecosts average close to a million dollars per hub per airline per year. Why airlines need to act nowBy leveraging available data and calculating more precise times by In the highly competitive, commoditized world that is moderncombining publicly available data about weather, flight schedules, consumer travel, providers must monetize the information-basedand other factors with airline and airport data, it’s possible to more currency to generate much needed incremental revenue and profit.accurately specify arrival times and achieve significant savings. With ancillary sales responsible for a 66 percent increase in revenue 5
  • from ancillary services between 2009 and 2011,6 understanding • Information strategy and organization services provide anwhat sells and why is no longer a luxury but a requirement to organized, disciplined, and comprehensive approach to connectingprosper in these economic times. intelligence across organizations • Information management and architecture services manage 100For the first time ever, hardware and software technologies are percent of data (structure and unstructured) across its lifecycleenabling travel providers to quickly uncover new business models and improve data consistency and accuracyand adjust their approaches to accommodate shifting consumerpreferences. Analytics helps travel providers discover techniques • Business analytics and information delivery services distillthat can return the industry to a time when consumers feel brand and derive meaning and insight from relevant information byloyalty again. These concepts are no longer merely competitive understanding business needs and helping to distribute or embedadvantages; they’re requirements to play the game. it to the roles and moments that matter most • Business solutions – social intelligence services combine data from emerging social media and mobile sources with existingPartnership: the route to a smooth traditional enterprise structured data to drive enhanced customer engagement and profitabilityIM&A experience • Hosted delivery – managed services, cloud, hybrid servicesWhile most people readily realize the benefits and capabilities help leverage a variety of software and solution delivery modelsafforded by the field of information management and analytics, few including on-premise installation, hosted, SaaS, cloud computing,people fully understand how to make the transition from wanting to and multi-tenant SaaS for data and analytical service needsmine the data to actually implementing an IM&A strategy. The best • Advanced information services offer a comprehensive set ofpath to an effective deployment involves entrusting the effort to a services to analyze big data from multiple sources in real time bypartner with experience, one that understands which information implementing an optimized real-time analytics infrastructurehas the power to drive the industry forward. Never before has the statement “information is power” been moreOne of the three major providers for passenger service systems, true, but unlocking the full potential of the data requires an intimateHP knows the travel industry. We have more than 9,000 travel and understanding of how to interpret it. Call on a partner that can helptransportation providers stationed around the world and six global you find your way to analytics success. To learn more, visitCenters of Excellence on four continents. Over the last 15 years, we www.hp.com/go/bi.have performed 50 airline industry system migrations and mergers,and our solutions continue to process more than 500 millionpassengers boarded annually.With more than 45 years of operational excellence in managing Ashim Bosecomplex IT environments – and 20 years dedicated to travel andtransportation, HP provides a broad set of proven, industry- Senior Director, strategy and portfoliospecific solutions. We help the travel industry turn data into for information management and analyticsactionable information by offering end-to-end advisory, consulting, HP Enterprise Servicesimplementation, and hosting. 6 “Airline ancillary revenue continues to grow but traditional channels are the key to future performance,” Amadeus. http://www.amadeus.com/blog/24/07/airline- ancillary-revenue-continues-to-grow-but-traditional-channels-are-the-key-to-future-performance/, accessed on October 2, 2012.Get connected hp.com/go/getconnected Share with colleaguesGet the insider view on tech trends,support alerts, and HP solutions.© Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice.The only warranties for HP products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products andservices. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errorsor omissions contained herein. 4AA4-4045ENW, Created October 2012, Updated December 2012, Rev. 1