I’m a huge baseball fan — and a native New Yorker, so naturally a lifelong Yankee diehard. I can recite more Yankee statistics than I care to know … the one I enjoy the most is our all-time winning percentage against the Red Sox (.544).
As a baseball nerd, I keep a special place for all kinds of unique numbers. Anyone running a baseball team can’t adequately judge the club without a myriad of traditional statistics and advanced metrics. If you’ve seen Moneyball with Brad Pitt, you know that meticulously gathering data can give your side a huge advantage, even when you’re working with a budget a tenth of the size of the Yankees. The same goes for travel buyers.
I recently had the chance to host an industry panel talking about data of a different kind, and much more important to your daily jobs. If you weren’t able to attend the ACTE webinar on Creating Strategies for Leveraging Data in a New Age featuring Northwestern University professor Diego Klabjan and Microsoft Senior Travel Manager Eric Bailey, you can do so here.
During the webinar, Diego discussed how airlines gather in-depth information on travelers, such as which other flights were available when a traveler booked a particular flight. This helps them understand traveler preferences and trends. Travel buyers should know more about their travelers’ needs and preferences than any airline. Such knowledge would put them in the driver’s seat when negotiating with carriers.
Understanding your travel program’s data can help you leverage your power with individual carriers and alliances. This can have HUGE financial implications on your company’s overall travel expenses. Furthermore, analyzing key metrics doesn’t come in handy just at the negotiating table — it also helps you understand how to more effectively manage your travel program.
For example, maybe you need to look at the booking patterns of different employee segments. You find that an abnormally high percentage of Generation Y employees are booking out of policy, or employees from an individual cost center consistently fail to book the lowest priced hotels.
Are you collecting as much data as you can about your travel program? Do you compile this data based on segments such as demographics and booking patterns? These insights can help you make actual inroads at limiting travel costs and maximizing your spend. In this case, we are here to help. Talk to your GetThere representative about GetThere Global Specialty Services and the benchmarking, consulting and reporting dashboards we offer. If you’re a numbers and data geek — or maybe more importantly, if you work for someone who is — you’ll find these services as cool as I do.
You never know when you might put together the next World Series champion of travel programs.