Travel industry becoming major big data player

Posted by Justin Hesser on July 2, 2013

The growth of big data has been spurred by a need for faster, more efficient operations that allow companies to better service their customers. So it's no surprise that big data has become such a hot topic in the travel industry.

Think of the pains you typically encounter when you travel. The long lines at the airport, the confusing nature of the baggage claim process and, once you finally get to their destination, simply checking into your hotel can be a hassle. Most people find the amount of time it takes to get from their homes to their destinations unnecessarily long. However, in today's age where security is of the utmost importance, the long wait comes with the territory.

Not all organizations are willing to accept this, which is why many are incorporating big data into their strategies as a way to alleviate some of the common travel pains.  

A recent study conducted by Harvard Business School professor Thomas H. Davenport gives credence to this trend. The results indicate that numerous organizations associated with travel are using social information among other valuable pieces of data to improve efficiency and decision making. Davenport said in a statement that this is a great opportunity for these companies.

"The travel industry stands at a big data crossroads today, with new technologies and techniques offering the potential to translate increasing volumes of data into higher profits and more efficient operations," he said. "Some leading companies are pioneering the use of big data and already seeing a huge impact. Airlines, airports, hotels, rail companies and travel sellers need to ask themselves if they have a big data strategy in place, and if it will allow them to be at the forefront of this opportunity."

Companies in the industry can improve their big data operations by building a custom database software system designed to collect, store and report on pertinent information.