How to start smartly with a data strategy

Lexi Honohan, Advito, senior director of global business solutions and analytics

When Advito’s Lexi Honohan asks corporate travel managers why they’re on a data quest, she often hears a misguided answer. “A lot of organizations want to ‘consolidate’ their data or put a ‘data strategy’ in place because they’re being told that they should,” said Honohan, senior director of global business solutions and analytics for the business travel consultancy. “There’s a lot of buzz in the industry about data, but that shouldn’t be the driver.”

The “right” answer is rooted in the company’s travel program and broader business goals. Do you want to achieve greater savings? Improve duty of care? Automate time-consuming manual processes in your travel program? “Those are the reasons to launch a data strategy, and integrating new data sources and using the knowledge effectively will get results,” Honohan said.

She’ll explore how data leads to savings at a July 17 session at GBTA Boston: Leveraging Data for Mobility, Risk Management and Cost Control Purposes. On the agenda, how to use data to understand and manage costs, including:

  • Total cost of trip: What does the whole trip cost when you add meals, ride-sharing services, Wi-Fi and other expenses to air and hotel?
  • Meetings spend: What are small meetings really costing you, and are they worth the expense? Would virtual collaboration for some meetings save money, boost productivity and reduce employee stress?
  • Policy compliance: How often are travelers booking outside the program? Are some of them crossing over to noncompliance during the trip cycle—for example, booking in policy and then upgrading outside of the program?
  • Supplier performance and amenity utilization: Are suppliers delivering on negotiated rates and capacity promises throughout the year? (Data-driven dynamic performance management helps you assess that.) Also, are travelers taking advantage of the free breakfast, Wi-Fi and other amenities you fought for?

“Data yields transparency into program performance,” Honohan said. “You no longer act blindly. Instead, you gain visibility that changes the conversation. You can hold suppliers accountable and engage your travelers how and when it will bring the greatest behavioral changes. The results are significant.”

Get prepped: Boost savings and efficiency at GBTA

You’ll get more expert advice about cost-cutting and productivity-promoting strategies at the upcoming Global Business Travel Association conference, July 15-19 in Boston. Be sure to check out these sessions:

Managed Travel Index®
Lesley O’Bryan, Director, Practice Area Lead, Emerging Practices, Advito
July 16 | 3:15-4:30 p.m.

Leveraging Data for Mobility, Risk Management and Cost Control Purposes
Lexi Honohan, Senior Director Global Business Strategy & Solutions, Advito
July 17| 8:30-9:30 a.m.

Hotel Trending Topics
Sponsored by BCD Travel
July 17 | 8:30-9:45 a.m.

Strategic Meetings Management: Cost/Benefit of Managing Small Meetings
Shimon Avish, Director, BCD Meetings & Events
July 18 | 8-9 a.m.

Microsession: End-to-End Strategy Elevates Travel Programs
Wendy Prewitt, Vice President Global Business Development, BCD Travel
Cecile Mutch, Senior Director of Corporate Services, Kellogg Co.
July 18 | 3:40-4 p.m. | Concur Booth 1337