Survey Says: Biggest Analytical Pain Points Are…

* Quantifying savings (36%), and measuring the traveler experience (16%)

* Working with travel technology tools, e.g. self-booking, expense reporting and data reporting tools (34%), and the airline category (20%)

* Deciding how to structure the analysis (22%), getting good data (20%) and proving cause and effect from the data (20%)

* Meeting the analytical demands of Senior Executives (28%), Procurement (26%) and Finance (24%)

This comes from my recent survey of 50 anonymous and self-proclaimed travel buyers  – so take this as directionally interesting; not statistically significant.

It’s curious to me that this group is still struggling with Continue reading

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!

Solving the Blah-Blah Travel Data Problem

Good-Bad Street SignTravel managers routinely rank travel data as one of their most important issues. Yet AirPlus recently reported that 56% of North American travel managers surveyed said they would not be willing to pay for better travel data.

OK, so let’s assume those buyers are reasonable folks.  How do we explain, then solve this conundrum?

Those buyers must not see much value – provable, hard dollar value – in “better” travel data.  I get that.  This industry has put up with mediocre travel data for so long that we’re used to ordinary, low-value, blah-blah data and data reporting. Continue reading

The End of Travel Data Darkness

Ending Travel Data Darkness with a Switch

Ending Travel Data Darkness with a Switch

This is the year in which travel data darkness begins to die.

By data darkness, I mean the opacity of travel booking data made outside of company-approved booking channels.  Exhibit A – hotel bookings made on Brand.com. Given that most companies can’t see 40-50% of their hotel bookings, this is a big black hole for most travel managers. And safety/security managers. And tax managers (more on this later).

Sure, you may get this data via the corporate credit card, or eventually via the expense report, but by then that data’s wattage is pretty dim.  Surely you need brighter data – more detail, in real time, regardless of how or where your travelers book.

No problem.  The solution – conceptually – is so close and so simple. And it has tax benefits to boot.

It’s your company’s Continue reading

Following Gillespie’s Guide to Travel+Procurement?

What a broad set of travel topics we’ve been discussing here: Gamification, verbal translation, direct connections, data reporting, self-booking breakthroughs, innovation barriers, supplier pricing….I love it.

If you’re a follower of this blog, thank you!  And if you’ve contributed to the conversations here, an even bigger thank you!

Here’s the ask:  If you like this blog, please recommend it your colleagues. A bigger base means even better conversations, so we’ll all benefit.

Folks can follow for free here.  It’s good for about 2-4 articles a month, depending on what catches my eye.  Thank you for helping me grow this audience.

Here’s a handy recap of the most popular articles from the last year or so: Continue reading

TIILTS: Better Travel Data Reporting

Quick, now – what’s the biggest innovation in travel data reporting over the last ten years?

  • Dashboards or Balanced Scorecards?  Those trace back to 1987.
  • Web-based travel reports?  Gotta be 15 years old, at least.
  • Comparative price benchmarking? 15 years old, minimum.
  • Travel program benchmarking done online?7 years old.
  • “One number score”, aka batting average? 5 years old.

My point? Corporate travel managers need a new generation of travel data tools.  I’m not selling anything.  But I can see the numbers on the wall, at least in terms of what’s needed. Here goes:

Core Value: is Descriptive, should be Prescriptive Continue reading

Top Posts from 2010 Travel+Procurement

The hottest topics on this blog last year dealt with data metrics, innovation, distribution and hotel sourcing. In case you missed these most-read articles:

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 Benchmarking Done Well

Benchmarking is one of the most popular requests from travel managers – and one of the most difficult services to provide.  I’ve argued strongly that price benchmarking is wrong and worthless.  Not changing my tune on that one.

Performance benchmarking, however, has a big part to play in any up-and-coming travel program.  The problem Continue reading

Review: AirPlus Data Reporting Tool

Credit card data is not the best source for airline sourcing projects.  I’ve said this for a long time (for example, here), but was challenged (nicely) by Jacques Lionnet at AirPlus to take a fresh look at AIM, the AirPlus Information Manager (AIM) tool.

Bottom line:  The AIM tool captures excellent airline data and is easy to use, but it has a few shortcomings that prevent it from delivering ready-to-source air spend reports.  These flaws (described below) should be easy to eliminate, and I suspect AirPlus will do so soon. Continue reading