Big Data in Travel

 

Big Data in Travel

The modern trade environment is a mix of various factors that are continuously interacting with each other in an ever-increasing manner. How do stakeholders keep up with the changes that are affecting their immediate business market in order to understand the needs and wants of the customer to innovate and stay relevant?  One of these factors is big data – a term that is increasingly gaining relevance in a modern context. With that thought, I am writing about big data and the various ways it is transforming businesses. 

What is Big Data? 

Big data means exactly as the name suggests – big data or data that has been accumulated over time which has resulted in a large quantity of the same. If we want to get a bit more technical, we can define big data as the evolution and use of technologies that provide the right user at the right time with the right information from a mass of data that has been growing exponentially for a long time in our society. As we all know, information plays a critical role in today’s society and the entities that have access to the right information has a certain competitive advantage in the market. With major developments in technology, the needs and the wants of consumers worldwide are changing rapidly along with the channels that they use to avail these products. It is now possible for one to avail services or purchase products right from the comfort of their own homes, a concept that was quite alien even a couple of decades ago. However, with the world being increasingly connected through the emergence of the internet of things, people are growing more used to their devices being always connected to the internet. 

This not only provides them with access to certain products and services, it also provides companies with a key opportunity to reach these customers through these innovative new channels. How can one then make use of such channels? The digital data produced is partly the result of the use of devices connected to the Internet. Thus, smartphones, tablets and computers transmit data about their users.  Connected smart objects convey information about a given consumer’s use of everyday objects thus providing companies with critical data regarding their usage stats and preferences. This data can then be used by companies to better their products and services or market them accordingly. This large treasure trove of data that companies can accumulate overtime on their users and the target market is called big data and it is being applied in every field to transform entire industries. 

Big Data in the Travel Tech Space 

The travel industry is no stranger to big data. As discussed earlier, modern developments are constantly changing the way people avail products and services with many now solely depending on the new media for all their day-to-day needs. With the travel & tourism industry expanding exponentially due to the introduction of these newer technologies, suppliers, as well as travel agencies, have to constantly deal with large sets of data or essentially, big data. 

Since access to information drives the overall business for any modern company, big data has become a top priority in the travel and tourism industry. With big data at your fingertips, it becomes easier for you to create a customer profile for your product, understand your main target groups, analyze their behaviours and preferences and ultimately deliver a highly customized experience to the consumer. This not only increases the chances of closing a sale but also increases the chances of retaining a customer due to a seamless customer experience. 

The following are some of the areas where big data is being used to better services: 

  • Revenue Management: It is essential for a business to sell the right product to the right customer at the right time for the right price via the right channel in order to maximize their financial capabilities. Big data plays a key role in this regard by providing companies with invaluable data related to customer buying behaviour and their preferences. Certain internal data sets such as occupancy rate, room revenue and current bookings can be combined with relative external data sets such as local events, holidays and weather to better predict and anticipate demand thus allowing them to price their rooms accordingly. 
  • Reputation Management: As evident from the title, reputation management refers to the strategic management of one’s reputation across channels. With newer media on the rise, it is possible for one to leave reviews on the internet regarding products and services that they avail in order to enhance the experience of others. Nowadays, reviews on social media platforms and eCommerce websites have become one of the major ways that customers value their products. With companies selling their products and services via multiple channels, it becomes extremely hard to analyze and review all comments left behind by users through physical means. Big data can help quickly review these for a better understanding of the points of satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) in terms of customer service to better develop training modules for employees. This can help ensure positive reviews in future thus driving the overall sales for the company. 
  • Strategic Marketing: Simply advertising and marketing your product does not cut it anymore – it is essential that a company is able to market its products through strategic means in order to maximize reach. As it stands today, it does not make much sense for companies to market their products to a single target market or a specific customer profile. This only limits their reach and stagnates growth. However, potential customers can be extremely varied and dynamic as they will have different needs and wants depending on their demographics. Big data can help companies identify the main trends in any given market in order to ascertain and develop strategic marketing opportunities thus enabling them to make the right products visible to the right customers. Marketing emails and push messages can be sent based on these large data sets thus allowing for a much more effective approach towards marketing. 
  • Customer Experience: We have talked a lot about customer experience in the last few points because it is one of the core responsibilities of any company operating in the service industry. However, customer experience is highly relative in nature – it does not actually depend on the experience that you provide to your customers but also depends on the experience provided by your competitors. For example, if your competitors are providing a premium experience at a certain cost while you are only providing the bare minimum at the same rate, then it does make sense for the customer to migrate to your competitors. The opposite is also true – if you are providing a premium experience while your competitors are providing a standard one, you are also missing out on profits since your operating costs and relative returns are disproportionate. This is where big data can help you analyze and better understand the quality of service provided by your competitors so that you too can orient your services accordingly thus saving crucial resources. 
  • Market Research: Big data can also be used to analyze competitors and the opportunities present in each market so as to develop clear-cut strategies for expansion. There are no shortages of channels that companies have at their disposal when it comes to gathering such information so much so that analyzing the entirety of it can become a hassle. Enter big data – quickly analyze all your channels for a better understanding of your position in the market relative to your competitors. If used effectively, it is possible to analyze the services most used by customers, the services avoided by customers and the strengths, weaknesses and reputation of rival companies so as to better position one’s products and services in the market. 

Big data might sound like a scary new term in a world of possibilities and perhaps implementing it effectively might actually prove to be a challenge for some but if one actually dissects the term for its literary meaning at first glance, it’s not really that hard to understand. It’s rather quite intuitive. With the world steadily increasing its overall potential through the introduction of newer and more efficient technologies, it is only fitting that the data sets that companies need to deal with on a daily basis will get exponentially larger with time. Big data is exactly that – sets of information that we have collectively gathered as a society over the ages that can now help us make effective and better decisions through the strategic analysis of the same.  

About Vervotech Mappings:

Vervotech Mappings is a leading Hotel Mapping and Room Mapping API that leverages the power of AI and ML to quickly and accurately identify each property listing through the verification of multiple parameters. With an industry-best coverage of 98% and an accuracy of 99.999%, Vervotech Mappings is quickly becoming the mapping software of choice for all leading global companies operating in the travel and hospitality industry. To learn more about Vervotech Mappings and the ways it can enhance your business in the long run contact us: sales@vervotech.com

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