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Aeroflot puts IBM analytics on board to personalise customer targeting

Russian airline Aeroflot has turned to IBM analytics technologies, including BigInsights and SPSS, to improve customer targeting

Russian airline Aeroflot is using analytics software from IBM to try to boost passenger numbers and entrench customer loyalty.

Aeroflot carried 26.1 million passengers last year and is Russia’s largest airline. IBM has had a presence in Russia for 40 years, right back into the Soviet era.

Through the deal, Aeroflot will use IBM’s advanced analytics technologies, such as its Hadoop-based BigInsights platform and its predictive analytics product family SPSS, to draw customer insights from structured and unstructured data held on the company’s travel booking website and in social networks as well as its IT and accounting systems.

The system will apply data mining, machine learning and predictive modelling to more than 300 data sources to analyse the buying behaviour of Aeroflot’s customers and calculate their lifetime value to the business.

Aeroflot’s sales staff will use the software to target travellers with the right profiles with deals to new destinations, among other activities.

In a statement, the company’s marketing director Mikhail Fandeyev said: “Personalisation and targeted marketing tools will allow us to proactively attract new customers while successfully developing relationships with our existing base.”

Russian firm Technoserv Consulting is the system integrator for the deal. Dmitry Bulenko, its director of business development for the transport sector, said: “Aeroflot was the first among Russian airlines to clearly understand the value of data within its organisation.”

Eugene Ostrovsky, head of transport industry for IBM in Eastern Europe and Asia, said: “As a long-term partner to Aeroflot… we are providing some of the most advanced technologies available to help turn data into valuable insight.”

The UK’s national carrier, British Airways, also has an established data analytics programme, again aimed at customer personalisation. In 2013 Computer Weekly reported it as using “third parties such as Opera Solutions, a company that uses advanced science to extract predictive patterns from data and turn them into business outcomes”.

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