How TMCs Can Improve Their Data
Posted by Mike Atherton on 06 December, 2023
Data serves as the lifeblood of corporate travel management. Yet, it often proves to be a thorny issue for Travel Management Companies (TMCs). The prevalent problems - incomplete, inaccurate, and untimely data - impede effective decision-making and operations.
Decoding The State Of TMC Data
Travel data, by nature, is a multi-layered construct. Various entities contribute to the database, with travel agencies, card companies, and corporations being the principal sources. However, the current landscape of TMC data reveals a less-than-satisfactory picture.
Industry leaders highlight the issues of data silos, where data collected by different entities are not fully accessible to others. This creates significant barriers to information sharing and leads to inconsistencies in overlapping travel data.
The lack of universal standards for data exchange also exacerbates these problems. A simple airline rebooking, for instance, can send ripples across multiple touchpoints before the transaction settles. Each adjustment must be updated, and without standardized data exchange protocols, it becomes time-consuming.
The question of data ownership also remains a contentious point. Who owns the travel data? The airline, the hotel, or the TMC? The debate continues, and until a solution is found, the quality of TMC data suffers.
The Impact Of Data Quality
Data quality isn't just about having clean, error-free records. It's about making sound business decisions based on that data. Poor data quality can lead to operational inefficiencies, misinformed strategies, and, ultimately, financial losses.
Consider a company trying to track its year-to-date travel spending. The financial report will be skewed if the data derived from hotel bookings or car rentals is inaccurate. Even minor inconsistencies can culminate into significant miscalculations over time, leading to faulty estimations and misguided policies.
Evolving TMC Data Practices
So, how can TMCs improve their data? The answer lies in recognizing the importance of data quality and adopting measures to enhance it across the organization.
Investment in advanced data management systems can bring significant improvements. These systems, equipped with AI and data science capabilities, can address the issues related to data silos and standardization. They can also facilitate real-time updates, ensuring the data is current and reliable.
Promoting a culture of data quality is another crucial step. Every entity involved in travel data, from the booking agent to the payment processor, should understand the importance of accurate and timely data. Training programs, workshops, and regular audits can instill this culture and improve data quality.
Finally, TMCs should encourage collaboration and information sharing. A more open and cooperative approach can help break down data silos and improve the consistency and accuracy of overlapping travel data.
A Brighter Future For TMC Data
Improving the quality of TMC data is not just beneficial; it's necessary. The challenges are formidable, but with the right approach and tools, TMCs can overcome them. The future promises interconnected, real-time systems with rich data content, and AI-driven advances are on the horizon.
As TMCs strive to enhance their data, they will improve their operations and contribute to a more efficient and effective travel industry. The potential benefits of improved data quality, from more informed decision-making to more efficient operations, are too significant to ignore.
Find Out More
Tripscape from Mantic Point, our end-to-end corporate travel management solution, can help you streamline your data management processes and optimize your business travel strategy. To find out more, please get in touch today by calling +44 113 337 2207.
Image source: Canva