Often in my role within All Nippon Airways’ Revenue Management team, I am asked to make an important business decision, for example how much to charge for our offering. I am given data that shows what people have paid in the past, what our competitors are charging, and reasons why demand might soon change – all of which will impact what customers will pay moving forward.
You might think this is everything I need, but that isn’t necessarily the case. If any of that information is out of date – even by just a couple of weeks – making the decision becomes harder, particularly when our competitors are making the same decisions based on more recent information.
That’s the situation we found ourselves in at All Nippon Airways a few years ago. While our competitors were getting daily updates on data that informed their pricing strategies, we were reliant on a MIDT solution that only offered biweekly updates. Every airline is operating in the same environment and, to remain competitive, it is important we have the same information. As an airline, our business can be affected by a wide range of unforeseeable events, such as weather changes, epidemics or natural disasters. We need to gather information on these events as soon as possible to determine their effect on our business.
The daily updates and big data functionalities of Amadeus’ Booking Analytics were key factors in our decision to choose this product of the Travel Intelligence portfolio. The data output is easy to understand – it does not require analytical expertise to interpret the dashboards and to disseminate the information throughout the company; anyone who needs to see the data can understand it. It is also more efficient: where we used to have to export the information into spreadsheets, modifying it and creating charts, this is now automated. The modules can be personalised, too, to ensure whoever is using them is getting the right information: executives can see key market statistics at a glance and factors impacting performance; analysts can build reports and use the data in their own business applications.
Booking Analytics helps us benchmark our market position against our competitors – so we can see if a competitor is increasing its market share, which might indicate a sale or low fare.
We can also monitor bookings per route, per agency, per point of sale, and see passenger volumes down to an Origin and Destination level. In areas where our sales are low, we can protect revenue being lost to the competition by responding with our own competitive fare offerings. Having easy access to this information means we can adapt marketing and pricing strategies based on customer behaviour. For example, if our bookings on the Tokyo-Birmingham route are low but overall passenger volumes on that route haven’t changed, that might indicate a competitor is having a sale; we would consider lowering our prices accordingly.
Thanks to Amadeus Booking Analytics, we have become more competitive. We receive the information we need, when we need it, to react faster and make better pricing decisions. We can instantly share it in a highly user-friendly format with anyone who needs to access the information. It is more accurate and reliable.
Our focus right now is on ensuring we’re fully equipped to react to changes in the marketplace and make better-informed decisions around pricing. But in the future, we may also use it as a reference point for other business strategies such as establishing alliances. There are many ways of using data analytics to improve our business, this is only the beginning.