A recent piece in Travel Market Report notes this commentary from Harvard Business School visiting professor Thomas Davenport, Ph.D.: “For travel sellers and travel managers, insights gleaned from big data into traveler behaviors can help them facilitate better and faster travel decisions, improve customer relations and provide more cost-effective travel.”
This may be true… but in our view, it doesn’t have to be complicated to get the insights you need to be actionable. The insights from big data don’t need to come from suppliers or travel management companies. The answers that travel managers need to understand traveler behaviors, the effectiveness of policy compliance, and adherence to preferred supplier relationships are all present in the credit card and expense reporting information that every company has.
The answers to the questions that travel managers know to ask are available without retooling information technology operations.
On-demand solutions are available that provide big data analysis using travel data in the format it exists today and combining that data with external data. These solutions allow travel managers to tailor the analysis based on their policies and processes so that the answers are specific to their situations. In short, big data answers are available without big headaches or big projects that delay access to this very important information.