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Amadeus, a travel technology company based in Madrid, is adding to the business intelligence capability it has been building since 2013.
On 1 July 2015 it announced a travel intelligence software suite for agents worldwide to help them connect to a pool of Amadeus travel data.
The travel industry was a pioneer in data use, but – as some 2013 research sponsored by Amadeus and written by Tom Davenport showed – it has lost its way in more recent years. A disadvantage in this industry is, paradoxically, that it was early into the use of data and IT for operational systems, so it has built up layers of legacy, such as the 40 or 50-year-old software behind the early travel and accommodation reservation systems.
Amadeus itself was formed in 1987 by Air France, Iberia, Lufthansa and SAS to provide services to connect travel agents with airlines.
The first two modules of Amadeus’s Agency Insight service – Search Analysis and Booking Analysis – have been released. Other modules are forthcoming, said Pascal Clement, head of travel intelligence at Amadeus.
At the end of 2013, the company built a “new-generation data platform” based on open source, including Hadoop, and the new suite develops from that platform, said Clement.
Search Analysis is said to give agencies insight into their customers’ travel intentions by analysing search data. This allows agencies to identify popular destinations, travel dates and trip duration, in turn helping to tailor offers based on the demand expected.
Booking Analysis is designed to give agencies the ability to benchmark their market position and evaluate the competition. It also reveals trends on routes and airlines, which can be useful when planning entry into new markets.
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Clement said much of the work of Amadeus’s 150-person business intelligence team is focused on what he calls “data dispersal” as a problem for customers. The team itself is dispersed, with data scientists located in Madrid, Nice, Frankfurt, Boston and Singapore.
According to Clement, the team aims to provide business intelligence to customers for “all the segments of the traveller’s journey, from travel agents, online booking, airlines, airports, rail and hotels”.
“We are at the start of something new. There are lots of the basics that have not been put in place yet, including the small data aspect of things. The aim of big data is to become small,” said Clement.
Customers using the Insight suite include Costamar, Makemytrip, Despegar, Tije, Delfos and Travelfasy.
Destinojet.com, a South American online travel agent, has been using Booking Analysis and Search Analysis to gain a picture of what travellers are looking for, while benchmarking its own position in different markets.
“Agency Insights is a great tool. We have been improving conversions and acquisitions and, as a result, have seen a lot of savings. Previously we had to do everything manually. For us, it was a match made in heaven,” said Carlos Giraldo, founding partner, Destinojet.com.