Travel Buyers, What’s Your Big Analytical Pain Point?

question-mark-in-mazeA lot of folks in the travel industry don’t enjoy the numbers side of the business nearly as much as they do the people side.  Fair enough, as the whole industry is built on the premise of building better interpersonal relationships.

But what is it about the analytical efforts that are really causing you the most pain?

Maybe if we understood those pain points better, our industry could do a better job of making the numbers side a bit easier on everyone.

If you are a travel buyer, please take 2 minutes to answer five quick questions here:

Travel Buyers: This Quarter’s Travel Data Pain Points?

The survey is anonymous, and meant to shed some directional light on the problems.

I’ll publish the results here and on LinkedIn.

Please share this as you see fit.  Thank you!

Air Sourcing Academy a Big Hit

The first-ever one-day workshop on airline sourcing was a big success!  About 70 delegates worked their way through the key success factors for sourcing this important spend category. NBTA‘s post-event survey measured two key factors:

The change in the level of understanding of airline sourcing (definitely improved, above), and the overall satisfaction with the event (quite high, below). Continue reading

Stairsteps to Data Heaven

Why is it so damned hard to get great value from the sea of travel data out there?

You’d think that corporate travel, a large and mature industry, would have cracked the code by now. And yet most buyers are still struggling to get anything more than mediocre value from their data reporting tools. Continue reading

Travel Procurement Workshop at NBTA 2010

Yesterday I led a full-day workshop on travel procurement at NBTA’s annual conference.  We had a terrific group of about fifty folks participate.  About two-thirds came from travel backgrounds, and about a third came from the procurement side.  Lots of good interaction throughout the day.

Here are the slides that I used during the workshop. Continue reading

Best Practice: Hotel Sourcing Strategy Study

We’re moving into the hotel sourcing season, so take a moment and think about your favorite little black dress or your best power suit.  What makes it your favorite? And how the heck does this relate to hotel sourcing?

Great clothes project the image you want.  They send signals.  They help define your image.  And if you’ve chosen carefully, they help achieve your goals. But they’ll only do that if your clothes fit like a glove.  See where this is going? Continue reading

Free Webcast on Travel Data

** Update:  The original webcast is no longer available.  Here’s the portion of the webcast that I presented.  It gives a few examples of anlyses that have some element of added value in them:

MasterCard ProMedia Webex v2 Continue reading

Baking and Data Reporting

What the heck does baking have to do with travel data reporting, you ask?

Baking and Data ReportingIt makes for an interesting metaphor.  I used this concept in the speech I gave at the ACTE Canada conference this week in Toronto.  I’ll admit that the skit was a bit hokey, but the points about poor preparation of data, half-baked analysis and hanging Christmas lights on plain-jane data were too good to pass up.

Once I got beyond these process-related problems, we dived into Continue reading

When Travel Suppliers Look The Same – Beware!

This post continues the thread from “Deciding How to Decide”.  Here, I deal with the common case of having to choose from suppliers that seem comparable on non-price dimensions.

One of the things that makes sourcing the travel category unique is the need to factor in traveler behavior.  Therein lies the key to selecting a winning bid from suppliers who look the same.

Let’s assume that you have a set of bids from a variety of suppliers, and that you don’t see much difference among them on the relevant quality dimensions.  That leaves you free to focus on price as the deciding factor, right?  Of course not…you know it’s never as simple as that. Here’s what you should do: Continue reading

Deciding How to Decide

This post continues the thread “Why Travel Disses Procurement…And What To Do About It“. In that post I explained why procurement has a bad reputation among many (not all!) travel managers, and two steps that will help travel managers overcome this problem.  This post describes the third step.

Get Your Flu Shot

This third step is a lot like getting kids to take their flu shots.  Continue reading

Travel Data 101 (part 4): Travel Analytics

Today we’ll look at data reporting’s sexy cousin, analytics.  Well, “sexy” may be a stretch, but my point is that data reporting is not very interesting, while good analytics can make you say “Wow – look at that!”

Travel category managers can be overwhelmed by all the data available to them.  Data reporting tools are necessary, but they typically produce “dumb” data.  By dumb, I mean Continue reading