Developing a Strategy for Big Data
Achieving these results means that the transport and travel industries need to get to grips with data strategies, and bring together separate, large silos of information. It is essential for organisations to make data and intelligence a key element in the customer-centric strategy. This means understanding:
-What data do we hold about customers and how can it be integrated?
-What policies and processes are needed to provide useful access and analysis of this information?
-What technology changes will support this strategy, and how can these investments be aligned with wider strategy and policies?
We believe there are four key elements that must be part of this data strategy:
Privacy, Security and Data Governance
Data has become the basis of competitive advantage. And, as organisations become even more dependent on outside market behaviour and competitive forces, they must align to break any confusion that users face when leveraging data. Organisations must institutionalise enterprise data management methods and practices to ensure that customers are informed if the way their data is stored or accessed has changed and interlace it into the fabric of the organisation. GDPR, CCPA and other such regulation and compliance frameworks demand that customers know what data is collected, how it is used, and over what time period.
"Privacy is the number one priority for KLM Cityhopper", says Boet Kreiken, because the company must adhere to the very strict data protection laws in Europe. “We can register data like seat preference, but we can only use that for a certain purpose. This is positive because the more we are trusted, the more we can share and the better service we can provide.”
Privacy is the number one priority for KLM Cityhopper, because the company must adhere to the very strict data protection laws in Europe. We can register data like seat preference, but we can only use that for a certain purpose. This is positive because the more we are trusted, the more we can share and the better service we can provide.
Alignment with Corporate Strategy
The second question to ask before building any customer-centric service is whether data fits the wider corporate strategy. Accelerating such strategy initiatives could be time consuming and expensive and require leaders to take a step back and reassess their initiatives. What does the company want to achieve with this information, and is there a business case to support using this data for that purpose?
Securing buy-in from senior leaders means you can be confident that the investments in new data integration, tools or platforms to deliver customer-centric services are in line with broader strategy. The business case for data integration should be revisited regularly, as the benefits of data can change over time.
Building a Business Case for Technology
As mentioned, delivering customer-centric services that rely on customer data may involve investing in new technology such as integration and analytics tools. The adoption of these tools must be carefully assessed in the same way as the underlying data – does it match governance and privacy requirements? What work will be required to prepare data to be interrogated by a new tool, or hosted on a new platform? Is there a good business case for using this tool rather than another platform or data set? How can cognitive technologies and techniques bring about significant improvements to my product or service offerings? How to speed up, simplify and manage complex calculations, routine tasks, and pattern recognitions using AI and ML?
"There are many use cases that have merit. One area for proactive investment is to make journeys smoother for passengers". Stuart Birrell says "it’s really important to reduce the stress of travelling, especially now. By understanding more deeply what passengers find stressful, with better use of data the passenger experience can be enhanced much more proactively."
There are many use cases that have merit. One area for proactive investment is to make journeys smoother for passengers. It’s really important to reduce the stress of travelling, especially now. By understanding more deeply what passengers find stressful, with better use of data the passenger experience can be enhanced much more proactively.
Stuart Birrell | Chief Data and Information Officer at easyJet
Information integration is still a huge challenge for many businesses aiming to join up the travel ecosystem. Bringing together data from disparate sources across a complex set of stakeholders is no easy task and it requires a high degree of collaboration across the travel ecosystem and the logistics supply chain.
Don’t Forget the User Experience
In the world of Uber and Amazon, it is critical to provide users with seamless, convenient services, regardless of the technical complexity behind the scenes. Similarly, internal customers will make better use of integrated data if it is presented in a format that makes it easier for them to make decisions. Data must be detailed enough to support a decision, but not so specific that it overwhelms them with detail. It is information visualisation in the form of storytelling, from the view of persona and narratives to uncover insights, by creating high impact data visualisation and presenting information in interactive graphs, charts, and maps.
For example, the industry is seeing increasing demand for information around sustainability, including the carbon footprint of potential travel bookings. Personalised service means that your system should recognise customer preferences and respond differently based on understanding whether a customer wants to see just a topline insight into the carbon generated by a flight, or more detailed analytics based on the specific route, plane and engine involved.