The right infrastructure makes your life easier and able to provide amazing customer experiences, says Travelogix MD Chris Lewis
For a TMC, good data management underpins all of your processes and I for one am pleased that this is now recognised across the travel industry. However, measuring and managing data correctly is far from simple and the result is that data management if often fragmented, leaving businesses with inaccurate and disparate data. When data suffers from poor quality, the business and its customers will suffer.
Today’s best practices require businesses in travel to adopt intentional strategies to both ensure accuracy and quality of information, then maintain that quality through data governance policies and procedures. Poor quality data and its management will cause businesses to miss opportunities and the ability to enhance their existing operations.
So how do you ensure that your business doesn’t suffer from a data driven disaster?
A good data strategy shouldn’t be created in isolation; it should be driven by your overall business strategy. Consider your organization’s strategic priorities. That really is the first question. Only then can you identify how data will help you deliver those priorities and answer your business questions.
The way you gather data can affect its quality before you even start, and many organizations have suffered from errors caused by manual data entry. A lack of processes and systems causes data to be extracted from several databases and the results are inconsistency and a lack of trust in the numbers. As significant as data is to business success, many companies still don’t have a comprehensive data quality assessment system or may even ignore what it’s telling them.
These businesses miss opportunities to enhance their operations and grow to incorporate new ones. High quality data governance can identify excessive or duplicate expenditures and even reveal where to build new products or services. A well-planned and executed data quality assessment system is the key to achieving these goals.
Someone in your organisation needs to take ownership. Don’t allow the process to be fragmented, it needs to be measured and managed across the business as a whole. Make sure that your people understand data management and have the skillsets to manage data properly.
Choose the right system
Good data management systems should monitor performance in all three data status categories: collection, processing and management. A quality system should assess and consolidate data as it’s collected.
Quality data provides the foundation to accomplish the following objectives:
Increasing company revenues;
Improving management of business costs;
Reducing and managing risk.
High quality data provides optimal performance and a clean database reduces the possibility of basing business decisions on outdated information, which can raise costs and inhibit growth. Furthermore, technologies such as automation work best when data is clean so it can also be viewed as a foundation for future computing capabilities.
Data is one of your company’s most important assets and a data-centric infrastructure makes life easier for everyone — the business, its technology and software providers. It also allows companies to create and provide amazing customer experiences. However, making a plan is one thing, you then have to deliver it. So, make sure your data strategy becomes a reality.