Lastminute.com integrates travel sites with new datawarehouse

Lastminute.com will this month complete its implementation of a new datawarehouse, designed to manage data the company has...

Lastminute.com will this month complete its implementation of a new datawarehouse, designed to manage data the company has inherited following a series of acquisitions.

The online leisure and travel retailer, which operates across 12 European countries, has acquired a number of travel companies in the past three years including UK firms TravelSelect, travel4less and Holiday Autos, and French firms Degriftour and Travelprice.

Because each new acquisition brings more IT systems and websites on board, Lastminute.com needed a way to integrate the increasing amounts of data, said Chip Steinmetz, chief technology officer for the company.

"We needed to find a way of harnessing all the data from a multitude of solutions to get a clear, single view of the group's business activities, have effective management reporting, marketing and financial management," he said.

According to recent figures, more than seven million people around the world subscribe to Lastminute.com's weekly news-letter. The firm has about 15,000 supplier relationships with a range of airlines, hotels, venues, service suppliers and attractions.

Maintaining these relationships requires a sophisticated level of business intelligence, Steinmetz said.

"We feel we give the customer a greater choice and flexibility than they would receive from a traditional package tour operator," he said.

"However, to do this means we have a significant amount of data to manage and analyse. We realise that the most effective way to keep track of all this information is through the use of a sophisticated datawarehouse."

The system, from supplier Informatica, will give Lastminute.com a single source of data to allow the company to analyse consumer interaction with its websites.

It will also be used to chart trends and consumer preference and readily identify the products that sell well or are under performing, Steinmetz said

"We can then use the results of these analyses to tailor our offerings across the different activities within the group. This will ensure that customers are able to rapidly find the most suitable holidays and activities," he said.

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