We estimate that at least 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is produced every day (that’s 2.5 followed by an 18 zeros!), with at least 90% of the data in the world today created only in the last 2 years. The amount of data is still growing exponentially, and they come from almost anywhere: social media posts, GPS signals, online searches, digital pictures and videos and purchase transaction records to name a few. This proliferation of unstructured data is known as big data.
The emergence of big data has helped businesses around the world to understand their customers and effectively targeting them for promotions. From a business operation standpoint, big data helps to optimise business processes and drives performance. In the space of marine and energy, big data can be used to support the consolidation of your travel spend. While it seemingly appears to be a challenging task, the benefits for data consolidation reaps in benefits that far outweigh the time spent to understand the data.
Some of these benefits are:
• Anticipate trends and travel seasonality to better forecast travel spend and optimise the rotation of your crew
• Track travel pattern and total spend and formulate a more cost effective supplier selection criteria
• Cost management that drives direct and indirect savings and aids in tailoring a holistic business plan that will optimize your company’s travel program strategies
• Drive compliance on company’s travel policies and ensure efficient supplier management thus generating cost savings
• Corporate responsibility ensuring duty of care for all employees in areas pertaining to safety and security; making smart business decisions eliminating risk that might potentially affect your organization
• Customer satisfaction - building multiple level relationship with travel bookers, travellers and key stakeholders both internally and externally
It is important to remember that the true value of big data does not come from its raw form, but from the processing and analysis of it and the insights, products, and services that are derived from it. You can have the most in-depth set of data but if you do not have the expertise to break the data down into meaningful pieces, then you are missing out on what big data could bring to your business.
As you go about deciding on a travel management company that could provide 24/7 support for your crew travel, you should bear in mind that the TMC is more than just a ticketing agent. Look for one that has big data technology that could help your organisation gain clarity to your travel program and support decisions and business innovations.
Bertrand Saillet is currently the General Manager for FCM Travel Solutions SEA, a leading global travel management company with a network covering more than 90 countries across Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.