Travel Data That Tells Your Travel Story

By: Jennifer Donnelly

For companies who are ready to take their programs to the next level, bringing all of your travel data together to tell your Travel story is an important step. Depending on your program, there could be multiple card data sets, expense data, travel data, and sometimes even meetings and/or relocation data. Being able to analyze the data and look for trends or anomalies is key to continuous enhancement and improvement of the program.

Some companies choose to build something in-house, while others choose to employ a 3rd party to analyze their data. Whichever you choose, ensuring your data is “clean” is the critical first step. Make certain there are no “orphans”, that data is updated on an appropriate frequency (ideally daily, but weekly works too), and that everything has an appropriate label in the system of record.

From there, being able to combine the appropriate transactions (card transactions with the relevant travel data or expense data for example) is important for seeing the full picture. Once you have the data linked, you are ready to look for trends and/or anomalies. Some anomalies might be things like; top spenders to keep an eye on, outliers in room rates for a particular city (employees are not using your negotiated rates or hotels aren’t honoring them), and car rental rates that don’t seem to match your negotiated rates (which could indicate those aren’t being passed along to employees). Trends such as; unusual volume in a new city may mean you should consider adding some preferred hotels with this location.

Bringing all of your data together is an important first step to tell your full Travel story, the better the data the more you can do with it!

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