It is almost impossible to overstate the transformative potential of big data to the travel industry, as noted by Harvard Professor Thomas Davenport in the Amadeus-sponsored report on Big Data, published in 2013. Travel companies may only be at the beginning of their journey in this arena -as the Professor also remarked- but they are increasingly realising that big data can be transformed into real business value and provide them with a marked competitive advantage.
SeaPort Airlines is one carrier which has embraced this ongoing loop of innovation and become the first launch customer of the Amadeus Travel Intelligence Engine. SeaPort is amongst a growing number of airlines recognizing that specialised analytics can give them a deeper understanding of how to both spot opportunities and identify pain points. For example, big data can help airlines identify correlations between booking activity and weather patterns, which in turn allows carriers to better anticipate cancellations and changes to bookings.
Recently, SeaPort Airlines became the first regional American airline to use Amadeus’ full Altéa portfolio of IT solutions. We are now expanding our partnership with SeaPort on the data analytics front, as the carrier has effectively opted to outsource its business intelligence to Amadeus though our Travel Intelligence Engine.
What is the Travel Intelligence Engine?
The Travel Intelligence Engine is a cloud-based platform which allows customers to add as much data as they want to the cloud. Eventually, we will also include new data sources such as weather, Twitter feeds, and other social media. We store the data using a combination of the cloud and our clients’ own systems, allowing them to perform analytics on their own data. Airlines can pick and choose which aspects of our platform they want and this allows them to make use of the platform and associated services in the way that makes the most sense for their business operations.
Through the Travel Intelligence Engine Framework, we are able to deliver best of breed services to enable dashboards and business intelligence reports focused on key performance indicators, built specifically by our platform. We can take these pre-configured dashboards and tailor them to our customer’s business, or allow the customer to use the system to design and build their own dashboards.
SeaPort has chosen to use the Travel Intelligence Engine to run its business intelligence operations, from the data source all the way through to dashboard creation. SeaPort particularly makes use of our ability to produce data in a visual format through the Travel Intelligence Engine, allowing executives to easily understand and visualise data and reports via an automated email that arrives every day.
Data visualisation is a new trend, and one which makes a lot of sense: by depicting the data via pie charts, graphs and graphics the information is displayed in a more intelligible way for a broader audience – from product developers to consultants – instead of being restricted to analysts’ who then need to effectively translate the information for others. For example, data visualisation can help airlines better see expected cancellations or no-shows, thereby understanding when and why seats on a plane may not be 100% filled.
We are working with SeaPort Airlines to leverage its Altéa data sources to broaden and deepen its reports and dashboards, and are also integrating information from the airline’s accounting, cargo, crew management and aircraft maintenance systems.
Regardless of the specific situation an airline wants to look at, we are able to aggregate and analyse the data in a way that creates meaningful reports for each client, without requiring them to have an in-depth understanding of their data. This is particularly important for airlines such as SeaPort which must be operationally efficient at all times and may not maintain a staff of specialised business analysts. But it is also important for all airlines, regardless of size, so all staff can better understand data and contribute to better and more actionable business intelligence.