The term 'big data' has become one of the newest buzz words in business strategy over the past few years, but although collecting as much information as possible on your customers is all well and good, the onus needs to be on what you do with that data afterwards, in order to propel your travel business forwards.

A recent report from business intelligence experts Eye for Travel, suggested that predictive analytics is the way forward for the travel industry – a process which offers a methodical approach to analysing data and utilising it to produce a picture of 'future business levels, customer behaviour, and demand'. Although this process is nothing new – travel companies have been generating data for years – evolving technologies mean that not only is there more data than ever to mine, the tools at your disposable to do so are becoming increasingly sophisticated.

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Fortunately, the increasingly mobile customer who crosses between devices throughout their day-to-day lives provide a wealth of data for travel brands to use as well as a variety of touch-points where two-way contact can be made.

So, how can predictive analytics drive value in the travel industry? The Eye for Travel report identified a few key methods:

Analysing customer data to create a seamless journey along the purchase funnel.

Analysing data in real-time to optimise capacity planning and allow for smarter pricing options.

Analysing operational data (particularly for cruise ships and airlines) to schedule maintenance more effectively.

Predictive analytics is all about looking forward instead of backwards. It aims to help brands to manage future demand, target the markets of their choice and reach out to the right consumer at the right time.

Additionally, predictive analytics will not just prove useful to travel brands, but to the customer too. The process helps to build a clear profile of a customer's interests and needs, allowing brands to personalise the user's experience and add significant value to their journey.

Innovations in technology and the increase in data sources will continue to dictate the pace of predictive analytics development, but we imagine more travel brands will begin to incorporate this approach into their strategy in the very near future.

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At Digital Trip we strive to keep our fingers on the pulse of travel technology which can boost your business. For information on our digital solutions and how we can help your brand move forward, contact us today.