Data collection is everywhere. You see it when you click on a website and are prompted to accept its cookie collection procedures. You know it’s going on behind the scenes every time you shop online, and your favorite store makes suggestions for your next purchases.
Businesses use this information, called data analytics, to create more effective plans and goals. It makes sense for you to use it as you design your travel management details, too.
In addition to collecting information about your customers, you’ll use big data to see trends in your company. Sales, profit margins, competitor stats, and many other factors are combined in various algorithms to show you the reality behind your bank account and operations. A Data Analytics Course can enhance your understanding and help you leverage relevant data effectively in your travel management.
How can you use this information to establish more effective travel management practices? We have the top tips to help you get started here.
1. Optimize Your Software
You could technically collect much of this data by hand, as businesses did years ago. But why spend countless hours on this job, then more time putting it all together and attempting to understand it, when the right software system does it in minutes?
With an analytics platform integrated into your overall processes, you can view big data with a stunning variety of insights. Any questions you have about how your business is doing and where it should head in the future can be answered with strategic queries. State-of-the-art technology analyzes the data, pulls out insights that you can derive action steps from, and points out trends that matter to you.
This information is compiled through artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (NLP). In short, it’s capable of doing human-level work without the human error component and at a much faster speed.
Using those insights, the hospitality industry is able to look back and see how consumer behavior differs from that of today and use that info to watch for trending changes and create personalized experiences for each customer (and, of course, boost its profit).
These aspects ensure your investment in data collection software is worth every penny.
2. Use Your Knowledge to Better Manage Your Money
Once your software is in place and you’ve learned the tricks to generate beneficial reports, you can use that knowledge to maximize your resources.
Review the data you’ve collected to see how it’s impacting your finances. When you send employees off on corporate trips, are you optimizing your traveler expenses?
Analyzing data can help you avoid traveling during peak season and paying those higher rates. You can watch for trends that show you when hotels have the lowest prices or specials like extra points for loyalty rewards. Hotel Engine explains how to use your business to get corporate travel rates for the biggest discounts here.
The same type of analysis applies to other expenses, such as flights, rental cars, and optimizing your per diem rates. Without a careful review of where your money is going, much of it could be spent better in other ways.
3. Improve Your Duty of Care
Managing travel includes a significant duty of care element. Your workers expect that wherever you send them, they’ll be safe, and they’ll return in the same condition in which they left. Not only is this an expectation, but it’s also a legal obligation that falls on your shoulders.
Data analytics improve how you handle this duty of care requirement and reduce traveler risk. You can use the data you collect to choose the safest transportation and lodging, eliminate potentially dangerous situations, and bring traveler preferences into your decision-making.
While your legal obligation doesn’t extend to ensuring your traveler has a good time on their trip, it does make for better employee morale. And with natural language programming and machine learning as impressive as it is today, it’s easy to filter your requests to include convenient locations, relaxing amenities, and other extras that your weary traveler will appreciate in their downtime.
More importantly, you can document that you covered your duty of care by using data analysis to check for hazards before and while planning the trip. Book services with high safety ratings and avoid hotels and destinations in potentially dangerous areas.
It’s not a guessing game when you have big data guiding you, and it is, by law, your job to ensure your workers are safe from the time they leave until they get home.
Effective travel management goes hand-in-hand with number crunching and data analysis.
The good news is this job is significantly easier with the right software solution to collect and disseminate that data for you. With it, you’ll have the reports you need at your fingertips to better manage your resources and enhance your duty of care to your travelers.