Expert insight

What a TMC can do for you: Data cruncher

3 May 2018 by Donna Fitzgerald

Here are four challenges that our data science and insights can help you to solve, from our business development director. 

Mining data is an essential part of many contracted travel programmes and ultimately allows companies to see the bigger picture, identify behavioural trends, such as when and how employees are booking travel, and even unlock greater savings and improve experiences.

Capita Travel and Events' data scientists can use anonymised data and qualitative research to understand your true journey costs and help you to solve challenges. 

Data, however, needs to be meaningful to add the right value, so:

1. You need to understand the problem you are trying to solve first and then figure out what data you need.
2. At the same time, digging into data can reveal problems you didn’t know existed.
3. It’s also important to clarify the main drivers of your data programme. Is it built around cost or experience, for example?
4. You then need to put metrics in place to measure these drivers and test any changes you make.

Different stakeholders tend to be interested in different metrics, and we will always tailor the data to the relevant person. Procurement leaders are interested in cost or value metrics; travel managers will look at behaviour and how they can influence it; and HR tends to focus on safety and policy – for example, if the organisation’s travel policy is fit for purpose. They're also interested in attracting and keeping talented employees and so, how travel policies can help here too.

Let’s take a look at some of the problems that data insights can help to solve.

Problem 1: Underused internal meeting spaces

We had a customer who was booking a lot of external meeting space, rather than using the company’s internal space. By combining two sets of data, we discovered that internal spaces were available but not large enough to accommodate the number of participants. A full evaluation led to the creation of a larger space that now meets the business’s needs and avoids additional costs.

Problem 2: Novice travellers v regular travellers

We can use data to work out if one type of traveller is spending more, why this is happening and how their behaviours differ. For example, our data shows that infrequent travellers spend more than frequent travellers. This could be because they are nervous, booking early and then having to makes changes, which could incur additional costs; they are booking offline rather than online; or they don’t fully understand the policy guidelines. This type of data allows organisations to target the right audience and understand why they do what they do, and educate them to ensure best practice.

Problem 3: Supply chain issues

A good example is overnight travellers who dine on-site in their property. Data will identify the number of travellers who dine on-site versus those who dine off-site and will allow negotiation with the supply chain on additional food and beverage (F&B) within the properties at a discount. It’s a win-win-win for the traveller (greater menu options within spend allowances, and less need for lone travellers to leave the hotel), the business (negotiated discount on F&B) and the supply chain (additional income in F&B).

Problem 4: Choosing road over rail

Data can be used to see average miles/number of hours of driving per journey and establish whether this is in line with policy and what the impact is on health and safety risks, and insurance. If people are driving more often and for longer, qualitative research can identify why people are choosing road over rail.

You can read the first in our series of articles on what a TMC can do for you, here

Interested? Let’s have a chat about your company’s travel, meetings and events objectives - from the stuff that keeps you awake at night, to the everyday experiences of your employees! Call us on 0330 390 0340, or submit the details below, with an idea of the times that suit you for a call.