Travo Summit 2023: Egencia data and analytics evangelist confirmed as keynote speaker

Travo Summit 2023: Egencia data and analytics evangelist confirmed as keynote speaker

Axita Bhalsod will talk about her passion for travel and analytics and how she's trying to inspire more women into the sector

The Travolution European Summit 2023 will hear from data evangelist and advocate for women in tech in travel Axita Bhalsod, senior director for analytics at Egencia.

Bhalsod moved with Egencia to new parent Amex Global Business Travel when the global travel management specialist was sold by Expedia in November 2021.

She has worked in business analytics for the global OTA since joining from Centrica in 2005 as one of the firm’s first 50 employees in its UK head office.

After becoming Expedia director of business analytics in 2015 she switched full time to the Egencia brand and was promoted to her current role in April 2021.

A Master of Science graduate of Southampton University, Bhalsod describes her role as like being an “explorer” working with data as a “co-pilot” to identify and address problems.

Alongside her work at Egencia Bhalsod regularly talks to university students to try to raise the profile of data science and encourage more women into the sector.

“The industry, typically, when you are hiring is still very male oriented. It’s about changing the perception of data science as being boring. 

“It’s remarkable how much of a frontline role Egencia allows for analytics to play. Normally it gets hidden, but now it’s at the top table.”

At the 2021 Travolution European Summit on February 28, Bhalsod will talk about her work in data analytics, machine learning and business intelligence. 

Bhalsod said while machines will get more intelligent she does not foresee a time when they can do without the intuition and expertise of humans to guide them.

“Humans will become data empowered,” she said. “It’s the combination of data and human intuition. We need the data to be our co-pilot to make our decision making better.

“In some cases the data helps you to come to conclusions because we do not have the brain power to compute what would be the optimal next step. 

“But we need the industry experience, the account managers, travel experts on supplier relationships so that the data can make those decisions. 

“We are in an era of machine and human in combination making sure we have the right guardrails around the decision making we do.”

Other keynote speaker confirmed for the Summit include Ralf Usbeck, founder of Chain4Travel, Peakwork and Traveltainment, Paula Felsted, chief technology and operations officer at Hotelbeds, and Karlijn Vogel-Meijer, head of industry at Meta (formerly Facebook).

Registrations for the Summit are open. Delegates from travel and technology brands can attend free by signing up to one-to-one meetings with the event’s technology and digital services supplier partners.