Key takeaways from Data Propathon, with independent insights provided by FESTIVE ROAD
FCM is on a mission to tackle corporate travel’s taboos. To get the industry talking about the areas of travel management that are a little prickly and usually avoided. And it just so happens that FESTIVE ROAD are too – that’s why we asked them to help us.
We teamed up with FESTIVE ROAD to hold a “propathon” with our clients. A propathon is like a hackathon, but for propositions, a design-thinking exercise essentially. It’s an opportunity for our customers to freely air their views and explore a tricky subject without the team at FCM listening in.
The topic of the propathon was data. What do TMCs do with it all? These are key three learnings out of the many that came out of the session.
1. Make sure you know your data “so what”.
There’s a lot of data out there, covering everything from airline and hotel spend to wellbeing metrics and carbon emission reports. But the real value the travel buyers wanted from their TMC was to know the “so what”. The insights and context around that date; what to proactively do with that information. Okay, so carbon emissions are at X. Is that good or bad, how does it compare to others? What can be done to reduce or offset? It’s those conversations that provide value.
2. Get the full picture.
Travel management often talks about leakage in terms of compliance to booking processes…which then leads to gaps in data. But there could be data holes in all kinds of places that need to be filled. The propathon highlighted the need to arm yourself with as much data as you can find; which could come from suppliers, TMC/s and expenses. Only then with that true picture can you identify and overcome challenges. The question was also raised, should TMCs be more willing to share data with others to get the full picture?
3. Consider anonymous data.
People are being pickier about who they give their personal information to, and how it is used. Companies are increasingly finding that people want to be anonymous when they book a trip. How can companies enable employees to book anonymously but use the data in the background? Understanding the legal complications and the personal appetite among your colleagues will help you get a better grasp of this.
Louise Kilgannon, Lead Consultant at FESTIVE ROAD reminded travel managers that they currently have a raised profile, due to all the challenges and issues raised by COVID and Brexit. She encouraged the buyers to use that profile to their advantage when trying to push through changes with decision makers.