These days, everyone's talking about cloud computing. More businesses are opting to run at least some of their operations in the cloud and take advantage of its vast storage and processing capacity. As a result of this, something else is causing a buzz among businesses - Big Data - and for the travel industry, it offers the opportunity to tap into customer trends, Think Digital reports.
Big Data, the phenomenon that has caused a stir across all business sectors, comes about as the result of the huge range of information created by the contemporary internet in combination with the cloud.
For industry as a whole, it promises a quantum leap in human understanding, says Think Digital. And for the travel sector, it could provide unparalleled insights into the customer journey and allow organisations to draw some very useful, not to mention accurate, conclusions.
For example, data can be used to maximise profit and limit the quiet periods by helping organisations understand how consumers shop and book across the different online channels.
For those who use the data effectively it will provide further information about how rates charged by travel businesses can affect search figures or about booking performance, for example - all highly useful for understanding more about the customer, allowing businesses to identify trends and act accordingly.
Its ability to foresee the future is Big Data's biggest boon - this could enable marketers to see where there may be gaps in the market.
One travel agency, Brazilian Hotel Urbano, is using Big Data to great effect, says travel website Skift.
Hotel Urbano customers are booking travel every 100 days or so – much more frequently than the travel industry norm.
"Ever since we started Hotel Urbano four years ago, we have been able to monitor and track the behaviour of every single potential traveller," CEO João Ricardo Mendes told Skift.
This is a different approach to other online travel agencies, and one which Hotel Urbano is using to "create a demand for travel," he added.
Hotel Urbano has one of the biggest travel brands on Facebook and is "monitoring that behaviour and... seeing what they are sharing and querying no matter if it is not connected to travel. Through that we create over 400 kinds of patterns," Mendes explained.
By seeing whether customers want to go to a Japanese restaurant or a concert on Sunday or travel to any place on a given weekend, the firm creates marketing for people who didn't even think of travelling before, he claims.
"We are making people travel a lot. Probably before Hotel Urbano they travelled once or twice a year. Now we are making them travel more than three times a year. That is the main trend we are working on."
Big Data goes far beyond static data, says the ambitious CEO. It's about creating patterns - by doing this "we start to understand how you interact the most," Mendes added.