Data has always been crucial for making strategic business decisions, but its importance is often overlooked when it comes to employees’ travel. However, as business travel becomes increasingly important, companies need to prioritize technological solutions and utilize business travel analytics. By analyzing travel data, companies can gain insights that can transform their travel management, optimize costs, improve the traveler experience, and make smarter decisions. This article explores the significance of business travel analytics and how to unlock its potential.
Business travel analytics refers to using smart technologies to analyze an organization’s travel data and translate it into focused insights. This analysis includes four steps: gathering travel data, processing it to create consumable information, identifying travel trends and expenditure patterns, and making data-driven decisions. These insights can help companies understand their travel spending, traveler behavior, and risk management, benefiting both the organization and its employees.
There are three main types of business travel analytics that can lead to better decision-making. Expense analytics focuses on tracking travel expenditures to identify areas of savings, negotiation, and better compliance. Traveler behavior analytics evaluates trends and booking preferences to enhance the traveler experience and align savings goals with traveler satisfaction. Risk management analytics helps identify and minimize potential travel risks, ensuring companies fulfill their duty of care obligations.
Business travel analytics is important because it offers enriched information that can improve practices and policies, leading to cost efficiency, savings, improved traveler satisfaction and productivity, and smarter decision-making. By gaining visibility into spending patterns, companies can pinpoint areas of overspending and implement cost-saving measures. Personalizing travel experiences based on data improves employee satisfaction and engagement. Data also helps stakeholders make informed decisions, improve policies, allocate resources effectively, and develop strategies to boost management practices.
To enhance corporate travel programs through data analytics, travel managers can use data to strike a balance between smart spending and efficient operations. Analyzing booking timelines can encourage advance bookings, reducing costs associated with last-minute bookings. Observing out-of-policy bookings can lead to policy exceptions that balance adherence with flexibility. Analyzing flight booking expenditures helps identify and cap premium bookings, managing costs effectively. Implementing hotel expense limits and tailoring hotel choices based on organizational structure and preferences saves time and money. Seeking GST-certified hotels provides tax benefits and savings.
To gather business travel data effectively, companies should utilize integrated travel booking and expense management systems. These systems capture relevant data like bookings, expenditures, compliance, and patterns. Traveler feedback and surveys are also valuable to understand preferences and challenges and drive improvement.
In conclusion, business travel analytics is essential for optimizing travel management, reducing costs, improving the traveler experience, and making informed decisions. By utilizing data effectively, companies can transform their corporate travel programs and unlock their full potential.