November 2017, Amsterdam
Keeping it clean: yes, travel data quality does matter
EyeforTravel’s latest State of Data & Analytics in Travel Report finds that quality and cleanliness is the biggest challenge facing 46% of data professionals today
Ask any data professional and chances are that you will find that data quality and cleanliness are top of mind. In fact, of the 450 travel data professionals surveyed in EyeforTravel’s recent report, 46% said this was the biggest challenge they faced.
According to Alex Hadwick, Head of Research, EyeforTravel, it is unlikely that this issue is going to go away “as the potential universe of data available to the travel and tourism industry is increasing exponentially, and is way beyond what humans can respond to”.
As such, investment in the right systems to monitor data sources and prevent pollution will be crucial. In fact, in a snap poll of delegates at the recent EyeforTravel Europe Summit, 33% said having right systems and technology in place was a priority.
Certainly, the data question is certainly top of mind for travel tech players, especially with the rise of technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, chat bots and more. However, CarTrawler CTO Bobby Healy said on a panel EyeforTravel Europe: “There is a role for machine learning and AI but it’s more precise and confined, and it’s not valid without a huge dataset.”
And certainly not without clean, quality data!
On the same panel, Roland Schutz, EVP and Head of Information Management & CIO Lufthansa Group Airlines stressed: “The quality of the data is key. Having the best data is your only chance of being preferred travel company”.
The next biggest challenge, noted by four out of 10 respondents, is creating a consistent data strategy. Travel brands need to ensure that they are co-ordinating properly and communicating data strategies across their organisations.
It seems this is easier said than done! When respondents were asked whether they have a clear understanding of the KPIs (key performance indicators) they should be measuring and working, a surprisingly high percentage (27.1%) said ‘no’.
27% of respondents said they don’t have a clear understanding of what KPIs they should be measuring and working towards
There are other challenges too. Among those are data integration, deploying analytics in a timely manner, and skills and training.
When it comes to data integration, 38.9% said that integrating from external sources is a challenge and 31.1% said that internal sources are an issue.
On the issue of adequate skills and training, 31.7% of the panel felt said this was a concern and 29.7% were struggling to find skilled people in the jobs market. On the side lines at EyeforTravel Europe, Brenda van Leeuwen, CEO, Eurail, identified this as a challenge. In her view, it is crucial today that everybody, in all parts of the organisation, has an understanding of data and its application in the business of travel.