Thursday, February 28, 2019

Case Study: Business Intelligence Makes a Travel Company More Efficient

Key Challenges

   Create a custom visual that shows points of departure, total flights, and flight sources.
   Enable airlines to easily view and compare key performance indicators (KPIs).
   Create custom animation and straightforward interactivity for the visual.

A Visual That Would Make or Break the Sale

In 2018, one of our client’s technical service providers approached us with a simple request: “Can you create a custom flight visual?” Our client, a large software provider, was in the middle of sales negotiations with an online travel company. The negotiations had broken down because the travel company didn’t think our client’s business intelligence (BI) service offered a significant advantage over a custom HTML solution. Even though our client’s BI service allowed users to drill down into the data, interact with the data, and run queries, the travel company insisted that it needed a custom visual that could display flight routes and flight route KPIs simultaneously. Without this custom visual, the sales deal could not be finalized.

Our Process

We accepted our client’s challenge and immediately got to work. We were tasked with creating a custom visual that showed points of departure and arrival, the total number of flights from an airport, and (when applicable) the multiple destinations of flights from a singular source. Prior to the creation of our custom visual, the online travel company didn’t have any central repository for their data. As a result, the creation of this custom visual ultimately allowed the online travel company to sell their data to partnered airlines. Partner airlines were then able to navigate to the visual and examine flight route health at a glance. Additionally, the availability of this data enabled partner airlines to compare their key performance indicators (KPIs) to those of their competitors. Now, partner airlines could examine their key metrics and those of their competitors—like when their rates were higher than average or what percentage of their flights arrived on time—at any location they wanted.

A Slow Rollout but a Huge Impact

The travel company was slow to roll out the new custom visual. They first released the visual to just two partners—and received overwhelmingly positive feedback. They then demoed the visual at an internal event for ten partners. Everyone loved it! Even at this early stage in the project, all the parties involved knew that our client’s business intelligence service and our custom visual would prove transformative for how the travel company and their partner airlines carried out daily business. This very success inspired even greater success for our client (the large software company). Following the implementation of our custom visual, other business divisions within the travel company reached out to purchase the business intelligence service. Our client even succeeded in selling their cloud computing infrastructure, bringing them into even closer relations with the online travel company and generating a bevy of sales leads across the travel company’s partner network.

A Better Experience for our Client and the Travel Company

It’s rare for such a small contribution to a project to lead to such outsized results. Because of our custom visual, our client was able to sell their business intelligence service to one of the largest travel companies in the world, secure the sale of their cloud computing architecture, and generate sales leads across a vast partner network. The travel company was able to centralize their data and make it visible to their partners, improving everyday business performance and long-term planning. This custom visual touches the lives of thousands of business people every day. It is humbling to realize that our contribution to both our clients’ success and our reach into the lives of those using our custom visual was made possible by the travel company’s decision to make custom visualization a go/no-go item.