Implementing Business Travel Analytics to Elevate Travel & Expense
We are here to help you tap into the infinite possibilities of travel analytics that will enable you to derive invaluable actionable insights from your business trips that will forever change how your company orchestrates travel.
What is Business Travel Analytics?
Unfortunately, most businesses that fail to manage the complexities around business travel find it unproductive, expensive, stressful, and ultimately a liability to their bottom line rather than an opportunity.
The key to fixing this lies beyond the most common travel expense data you store, such as flight tickets, food, accommodations, and local commutes. But, a deeper dive into booking timeframes, policy compliance, sustainability, vendor efficiency, process efficiency, budget utilization, bookings management, and more.
Travel data analytics is a practice that leverages Data Analytics and Machine Learning (ML) technologies to collect, process, and analyze your travel data and devise appropriate KPIs that make it easy to spot spending patterns, compliance issues, refinement opportunities, and curbable cost leakages.
Its fundamental purpose is to help your travel managers, and administrators uncover and study the typical problems your travelers face by looking at travel expenditures from the perspective of employee satisfaction, savings opportunities, and department-wise spending.
The information generated from Travel Data Analytics allows businesses to understand how such problems impact the employees’ ability to bring the trip’s objectives to fruition.
Moreover, travel analytics on your historical and current travel data helps you make accurate data-driven decision-making that increases your business travel’s overall efficiency and ROI.
This piece will cover the following:
- What is business travel analytics?
- Importance of business travel analytics
- How to successfully implement business travel analytics
- Get in-depth business travel analytics with Tripeur
This article explores travel data analytics, its types, importance, and how successfully implement it for your business. After this informative read, you will better understand what Business Analytics in the Travel Industry is helping countless companies achieve.
Types of Business Travel Analytics
Now that we have covered what Travel Data Analytics is, let us look at its types and what each one can help you accomplish.
1. Descriptive Analytics
Descriptive analytics is the simplest form of travel analytics that summarizes what’s been going on and is currently going on with your business trips based on your travel data. It involves exploratory data analysis and data visualization into your data to present a simple overview of your historical and present travel trends.
For example, you can use descriptive analytics to determine and summarize which travel expense category was the highest cost center during a given period.
2. Diagnostic Analytics
It offers a deeper dive into the reasoning behind the findings of your descriptive analytics using methodologies such as data mining, discovery, and correlations.
For instance, if your descriptive analysis highlighted corporate travel flight tickets as an exceptionally high-cost center, diagnostic analytics may identify correlations between different travel aspects and processes that may have contributed to their cost inflation.
3. Predictive Analytics
This advanced type of analytics leverages ML to spot patterns and insights in your travel data and generates insightful predictions that can drive your future travel decision-making. This information can make future travel more personalized, efficient, cost-effective, and compliant.
For instance, Predictive analytics can help you anticipate the accommodation preferences of travelers based on their historical booking data. The findings from the predictive analysis let you establish future travel bookings based on your employees’ unique preferences.
It instantly increases your employee satisfaction levels while remaining within the bounds of the corporate travel policy.
4. Prescriptive Analytics
Prescriptive analytics is another advanced type of travel data analytics that enables you to identify the best outcomes for a corporate travel scenario and appropriately tailor your decision-making to achieve that outcome.
It can help identify potential problems such as future policy non-compliance and allow you to proactively alter your policies to ensure they do not occur.
Importance of Business Travel Analytics
Let us look at some of the most noteworthy advantages of business travel analytics.
1. Improve Policy Compliance
There are numerous reasons why an employee may make policy non-compliant expenditures for their corporate travel. Regardless of the reasoning, such actions increase the company’s expenses, significantly affecting its bottom line.
Business travel analytics can help avoid this by providing administrators with the proper information and KPIs to monitor, identify, and correct policy violations and their violators before any significant budgetary damage occurs.
Travel Analytics also allows you to study patterns that may reveal employees who frequently violate corporate policy during business trips.
2. Solve Overspending
Corporate T&E overspending is one of the most significant challenges facing numerous businesses engaged in business travel. Sometimes, the trip becomes more of a burden for the company due to its unmanageable costs.
When engaging in Travel Data Analytics, you leverage cutting-edge analytical tools that uncover why your travelers are overspending and devise means to curb it. The insights from your travel analysis can help you formulate and enforce corrective measures to keep business travel expenditures at an optimal and feasible level that adheres to your corporate travel budget.
3. Raise RoI drastically
Travel Data Analytics helps leverage historical T&E data from multiple sources and trips to give you the necessary travel information to plan efficient, compliant, and cost-effective trips.
When you have a real-time dashboard view of your employees’ actions during their journeys, you can preemptively ensure that they take the best path toward eliminating cost leakages and achieving their travel objectives.
4. Track Spending in Real-Time
Travel analytics helps you gauge your employee’s expenditures in real time against their pre-allotted budgets. You get a clear picture of your traveler’s budget utilization through KPIs and dashboards.
For instance, you will always be aware when an employee is prematurely approaching their spending limitations or failing to abide by the corporate travel policy’s rules. It gives you more robust internal controls to ensure your employee spending is within the prescribed boundaries of the corporate travel policy.
5. Boost Employee Satisfaction
Booking the cheapest options with little consideration of employee preferences can often blow back on the company and the trip’s productivity. It is a well-known fact that a satisfied employee is much more likely to achieve their goals and objectives compared to an unhappy one.
Business travel analytics uses predictive analysis methodologies to track historical booking data and traveler patterns to compile a list of preferred airlines and accommodations that are feasible, compliant, and above all, keep your travelers happy.
6. Select vendors efficiently
Predictive analytics is an excellent way to determine which travel vendors, including airlines, transport, and accommodations, are the cheapest options available. By carefully studying the historical expense data, you can study patterns that indicate which vendors are most affordable during specific periods of the year.
Accordingly, you can make advance travel bookings through that particular vendor, effectively reducing costs and increasing the feasibility of the trip.
7. Become Sustainable
Business travel analytics is at the forefront of helping businesses restructure their business travel and their corporate travel policies to dramatically reduce their carbon footprint.
For instance, analytics can help identify situations where travelers can use public transportation alternatives with a significantly lower carbon footprint than private cabs.
It even helps identify and shift priority to booking sustainable hotels, homestay accommodations, and airlines with a reduced carbon footprint for travel trip bookings. So engage in travel data analytics to show your customers that you are a business that prioritizes sustainability.
How to Successfully Implement Business Travel Analytics
While there are undeniable benefits to embracing Travel Data Analytics for your business travel, the value you derive from it depends entirely on how you implement it and the metrics you consider.
Here are some of the aspects of business travel analytics that you could use to successfully get the best outcomes from your corporate travel.
1. Create Custom Reports
A good suggestion would be to use corporate travel management software to leverage your business travel data and generate customizable reports showing you precisely the information you need and wish to see.
For instance, if your business’s carbon footprint, flight bookings, and trip approvals are of primary concern to you, you should be able to customize your reports that consistently highlight the information you specify through its KPIs and dashboards.
This way, your custom reports will always show the information most relevant to you.
2. Zero In on High-Value Metrics
Monitoring the right metrics helps make business travel manageable and drives better decision-making. Let us look at some high-value metrics you can use for your new travel analytics system to offer invaluable insights into your business travel.
This metric represents a summary of your monthly expenditure on business travel. It can help you gauge which months cost the company more on a journey than others. Moreover, monthly spending information is also essential to calculate your travel ROI.
It helps you understand how much your business departments spend on corporate travel, enabling you to differentiate between departments spending optimally and those causing significant cost leakages. It is a calculated summary of your total monthly travel expenditure by the department.
Budget vs Actuals
It is a metric that depicts travelers’ actual expenditures versus their allotted corporate travel budgets. It is helpful in real-time tracking of employee expenditure to ensure that they stay compliant with the spending limits prescribed within the corporate travel policy. Such information is also beneficial in creating more realistic budgets for future travel.
Time to Book
This metric is a meaningful way to gauge the efficiency of your business travel booking process. As we all know, when making travel-related bookings is concerned, the lowest prices are often achieved by those who book quickly without wasting time.
If your time to book is high, it could imply that you have process redundancies hindering travelers from making swift, cost-effective bookings. Ensure you include time to book as a part of your travel analytics dashboards if you constantly suffer from inflated costs due to delayed bookings.
Booking prices are dynamic and constantly changing for various reasons, which is why vendor pricing is one of the most critical metrics for better travel booking decision-making.
It depicts the different booking prices offered by all your vendors to give you the much-needed information to make the cheapest bookings at any given period.
It summarizes the monthly amount spent on booking flight tickets, hotels, accommodations, events, and other expenses to identify the most substantial cost centers impacting the feasibility of your business travel.
Booking, Cancellation, and Rescheduling
You will incur unnecessary costs and cancellation penalties when your travelers frequently book, cancel, or reschedule bookings. This metric allows you to avoid such occurrences by enabling administrators to monitor a month-wise breakdown of the times your employees performed bookings, cancellations, and rescheduling’s toward their business trips.
It is an excellent way to identify employees or departments constantly causing unnecessary increases in your corporate travel by frequently canceling and rescheduling bookings.
3. Personalize Your Travel Policy with Data
Most businesses with a rigid travel policy with little to no room for flexibility face substantially higher compliance issues than those with dynamic travel policies.
The best part of business travel analytics is that it allows you to get a granular understanding of the individual needs of your travel as well as identify previously unknown ways to dramatically cut costs for yourself. This high level of information allows you to tailor your corporate travel policy to be flexible and suit the needs of your company and that of the traveler.
Ultimately this data will enable you to create a win-win situation where your company achieves complete policy compliance, cuts costs, and boosts its employee satisfaction rates. A personalizable travel policy should be essential when implementing your business data analytics system.
In conclusion, consider what travel data analytics can do with the rich information you derive from your business travel that spans multiple trips with varying locations, travelers, and costs.
The potential insights you gain from leveraging such a high level of information will be instrumental in streamlining the accuracy of trip planning, budgeting, and implementation to suit the unique requirements of your travelers, business objectives, and destinations.
Additionally, travel data analytics enables you to monitor your travel policy compliance in real time and address the most critical areas of non-compliance. Such an analytical approach guarantees that you always make the right data-driven changes to the company’s policies to achieve total policy compliance.
It shows how business analytics in the travel industry is an excellent solution to maximize your ROI and make it easier than ever before to achieve your travel objectives cost-effectively.
Get In-Depth Business Travel Analytics with Tripeur
Tripeurs AI and ML powered Travel management platform provides its user’s recommendations and deep insights into travel spending, patterns, trends, corporate deals, and budget overruns presented in detailed dashboards and KPIs.
We provide real-time MIS reports detailing fares, policy compliance, and travel processes for better data-driven decision-making. Achieve the best deals through our ever-growing list of corporate deals to achieve productive and cost-effective business trips.
Our fully transparent and user-friendly UI does not require additional learning and guarantees 100% adoption with your traveling and non-traveling stakeholders. Tripeur’s user-friendly software will also leverage your invaluable business travel data and state-of-the-art Travel Data Analytics to perpetually fix corporate travel policy compliance and other T&E issues facing your business.
Contact us to find out more.