I’m Jason, your Data Insider – a former travel management consultant turned data geek. In my new gig at leading data intelligence firm PredictX, I have seen what an effective data strategy can do for all-round travel programme improvement. I want to share this knowledge to those wanting to start or improve their current strategy.
It’s spring. Springtime means many things for many people, but for most, it’s a fresh start. In travel, with many of us planning for a return to travel for the latter half of the year, now is our fresh start – a once in a lifetime chance to start from scratch and get it right.
For me and my family, springtime means the kids’ baseball season. Managing a travel programme is very much like baseball: you want to see results, and you want to win.
To see results, you first need a strategy. You need to assess your weaknesses, correct them, and play to your strengths. Often, that same strategy needs to be tweaked to optimise your results. This logic applies to both baseball, and your travel programme.
How do I create an effective data strategy for my travel programme?
First, you need to know what data you’re working with.
In a study developed by PredictX where we analysed $8.5 billion in travel spend, we concluded only 59% of the spend was captured by the TMC.
Where is the other 41% of travel spend?
It sits primarily on the Corporate Card, and in the Expense system.
In the chart below, we show an example of a company that spends $100 million USD through their TMCs. After fusing the TMC data with Card and Expense data, while eliminating duplication, we discover that the $100 million increases to over $164 million in total travel-related spend.
If you’re developing a strategy for your programme, how comfortable are you knowing that over 40% of your story is either fragmented or missing?
What can we do about it?
The winning strategy is to fuse TMC, card and expense data, and overlay it with your department and traveller hierarchy, as well as your travel policy. The result? You will see the true amount you are spending on travel. Additionally, you’ll capture important details such as traveller whereabouts, employee function, department as well as trip purpose – to name a few.
These pillars of data will present you and your senior management a 360° view of your programme and better position you to hit a home run against your programme goals.
If you’re curious on how to make this happen, book a free consultation with me and my team.