You may be wondering what dark data is and what makes it so important for travel industry companies.
As tourism takes off in today’s solid economy, we can expect robust growth in the number of outbound trips worldwide. Combined with the prevalence of the tech sector, this had led to new market entrants looking to use technology to help travel companies keep and retain clients.
Data technologies and data strategies are very popular right now in the travel industry. This may not be news to most. But what is interesting the growing popularity of something called “Dark Data.” Dark data describes the massive amount of information held by large travel companies and wholesalers about customer sales, commercial activities, and more. What makes the data dark is the lack context inherent in most legacy data collected before advanced analytics was in vogue.
What is dark data?
Dark data is a frequently hidden source of value for many businesses. Like all data, it is generated throughout the normal operations of the company and is in fact constantly being generated with new transactions, site visits, etc. Nowadays, data is generated even as we walk around town, with our cell phone sending signals that pinpoint our location. But estimates predict that 90% or so of this data is not properly captured in an immediately usable way.
So Dark Data is already in the possession of most companies, even if it is not yet ready to process. This creates challenges for getting value out of this information. No company wants potentially valuable assets wasting away using up hard drive capacity.
There are two main types of dark data. The first i called temporary data. This is information flowing through networks like WiFi or through transaction on ecommerce payment portals. Other examples include mobile phones, which generate tons of hidden data. Service like Datumize can assist organizations in capturing this information in real time, processing it, and integrating in with outher sources of information.
Travel industry companies and Dark Data
For the travel industry, this sort of project can be important. Travel companies understand that booking engines contain and can provide lots of information about customer data and behavior. But most companies lack the technology to actually carry out any sophisticated analysis on customer behavior outside of simple metrics and web traffic reports. Far more business value can be extracted, though, through the processing and integration of dark data.
Dark data processing involves considering the integrations between different travel companies during the search process—regular search engines, metasearch engines with a travel focus, and OTA booking engines. There are virtually countless transactions happening around the clock, making it hard to get a grip on this information. But if it can be harnessed, a much fuller picture of the customer and their pathway can be developed.
Very likely, the future will automate and effectively leverage this information to improve guest experiences in hotels and on airlines, therefore the importance of collecting Dark Data for travel industry companies and developing proper data strategies.
At the forefront of this trend is the Datumize Company, the world’s first dedicated “Dark Data” software firm. The company aims to capture 99% of operation data for use in analytics and service optimization. In other words, their goal is to shine a light on the otherwise dark data.
As internet technology creates more data, it is imperative to use it as effectively as possible to compete with other companies. A huge component of this effort can be conducted by using the data you already have more efficiently. Digging into dark data is the first step on this pathway. Companies like Datumize provide the technology and consultation necessary to actually make this happen.