Recently there have been many opportunities to get some face-time with our hospitality customers; not only did our team attend many industry events but Sabre Hospitality Solutions hosted its Global Customer Forum last week in Amsterdam. These live conversations help us in finding out what keeps our customers busy and what is on their minds.

Hospitality Solutions Vice President EMEA, Brannon Winn said the biggest topic that keeps coming up is “big data,” and the questions: “what do I have?” and “what’s my strategy?”

This probably doesn’t surprise anybody; we keep hearing it all around us. Since Sabre Hospitality is here to make our customer’s lives easier, we’ve gathered our big data learnings from recent events to answer these two questions.

What Big Data do I have?

Let’s start off with the amount of big data you have. The average data footprint per person is 1 Terabyte (TB) per year (or if you are as visually oriented as I am: 1TB of information printed on A4 paper would be 6.5km long, which is 20 times the Eiffel Tower in Paris).

Now let’s take a look at a traveler’s data footprint. Sabre data scientists are still working on the details, but even at this early stage, it’s safe to say that active travelers produce 90% of all data produced in the world! Knowing this, organizations should realize that knowing the ins and outs of these “data magnets” gives them a big opportunity to create value – for their own company as well as for their guests.

We now know what amount of data is out there, but what data is available?

  • Booking data from airlines, trains, cars and hotels through agencies and in the direct channel
  • Mobile and social check-ins
  • Real-time information available through travel-companion apps (like TripCase)
  • Shopping requests and reservations for event travel tickets and travel extras like ground transportation and restaurants
  • Social activities specific to a trip

So, how to determine my strategy around big data?

With so much data, there are four steps to take in order to create a valuable big data strategy:

  1. Be picky. With so much data, you only should take the data that’s relevant to your business.
  2. Analyze. In order to take actionable insights from big data that can drive real business value, you need to analyze the data carefully. It’s all about being creative and thinking “out of the box.”
  3. Visualize. Current and historical data is easier to compare and draw conclusions from when viewed in, for example, a Word Cloud or Hotel Heat Map by Sabre.
  4. Predict and forecast. For the travel and hotel industry, identification of patterns from big data to predict future activities is at the heart of personalization – so it’s a critical step to take!

Last, but not least, check out this cool Sabre video about the topic. And let’s keep the conversation going via #datarevolution on Twitter.