free responsive website templates

The Travel Analytics journey

(so far)

The journey into travel reporting started over fifteen years ago when I was given the task of reinventing customer reporting capabilities for a TMC I worked for.  At the time, we had 120+ reports, most of them useless, as they provided little no insight into the effectiveness of the customers travel program.  This had to change.  The first thing I needed to do was engage with the customer to understand what they wanted in our reports.  This was a turning point, as customers were willing to engage, and importantly, it gave me crucial insight into how we could drive value for them.

Fast forward five years, and I find myself consulting to private, academic and government organisations on how to manage their travel programs.  It was crucial I had access to quality data, however, getting it was difficult, and once I had it, it often took enormous amounts of time to bash it into shape to analyse it effectively.

Needless to say, my Excel skills improved significantly during this period, however, I soon realised this wasn't the solution and I needed a more efficient process.  I turned to Microsoft Access and an early edition of Power BI.  After a month solid development, I was processing reasonable amounts of data into spreadsheets containing numbers and graphs that allowed me to analyse data with minimal heavy lifting.  I presented my spreadsheets to clients and they were suitably impressed, as were their TMCs.  Before I knew it, we had a number of TMCs using our services, and within a very short period of time, my Access database and Power BI tool was starting to look a bit shaky.

I was lamenting my new-found success to a techie mate down at the boat club.  Over a few beers we hatched a plan to develop a cloud application that consumed travel data and rendered smart looking dashboard reports consumers could log into and access through the internet.  Six months later we launched Travel Analytics Mark I and it was an instant hit with TMCs and customers alike.

The beauty of Mark I was its simplicity.  Users could access data on air, hotel, car hire and TMC service fee expenditure, drill down from a whole of organisation view to individual transactions (within a few clicks of a mouse), view non-compliance, supplier market share, individual traveller expenditure and export raw data files without ever having to glance at a user manual.

We continued to develop, building ground breaking functionality to remove duplicate travellers and suppliers, normalise data and convert it into a format that could be easily understood by all users.  Upgrades to the dashboards allowed organisations to monitor expenditure against budget, monitor airline ticket credits, look up and download summaries of individual trips, download review documents and benchmark the effectiveness of their program against their peers.  We developed functionality allowing customers to add structure so data could be shared with stakeholders throughout the organisation.  It was a great product and it packed a formidable punch.

In December 2018, over five years since the launch of Mark I, we released Mark II.  Twelve months in the making, Mark II is a major step forward for our organisation.  The application leverages cutting edge open source technology stack, including Postgres, Django, Python and Vue.js.  Mark II retains many of the familiar features of Mark I in addition to an extensive list of new functionality driven by the requirements of our clients in a brand new look and feel. And yes, we're pretty excitied about it.

Travel Analytics exists because of our extraordinary customers and their willingness to provide the feedback we need to develop outstanding products.  The release of Mark II is the start of another leg in the Travel Analytics journey, one where we will continually develop and deploy new and innovative features that will assist our partners and customers drive value into their travel programs.

Simon Crunden
Founder and CEO - Travel Analytics

© Copyright 2019 Travel Analytics - All Rights Reserved