Tuesday 16 February 2016

GUEST BLOG: Insight Led and Data Driven: Three Reasons to Revamp Your Decision-Making Process

Big data and accessibility to improved analytics are transforming what it means to have a competitive edge. The ability to collect, store, and analyse massive amounts of data has become ubiquitous. Data scientists have become one of the most sought after professionals.  That should mean that companies are making decisions that are better founded in real-world data than ever before.

Yet that’s not what is happening in many organisations. Managers are not certain how to utilise data, don’t trust advanced analytics enough to use it as a basis for decision making, or are simply used to making decisions based on gut feel. Similarly in business travel, a great deal of data is collected by organisations on an ongoing basis, from transportation costs to lodging to client entertainment expenses. However, this data often does not play its due part in informing the strategy and the choices made.

What differentiates smarter decision makers from the rest is how they make sense of the data and take actions. That’s the fundamental reason managers should be looking toward data for insight.  How and why to change the process is tougher to tackle. Here are three of the main reasons organisations should be revamping their decision making style, with data in mind:

1.   Data for data’s sake isn’t enough—and it’s costly.
It may seem strange that organisations are hesitant to embrace data-driven decision making… especially because they are often still collecting and storing enormous amounts of data.  They’re putting time and money into data collection and storage without following through and making that data work for them. Data is only worth its impact on strategic decisions. If you’re not putting it to work, it’s costing you twice: First, in the loss of decision making capability, and second, in the costs inherent in collecting and storing it.

2.   Experimenting with and developing the right analytics model takes time.
While the right-fit analytics can change and improve the entire way your organisation manages company travel, it’s not a plug-and-play process. It’s not simply a matter of parsing data—the organisation needs to define its goals, identify opportunities, and consider what precisely they want their analytics to help them accomplish. Creating the necessary models to accomplish an organisation’s aims shouldn’t be delayed. The sooner your company gets started, the sooner it will perfect its methods and get ahead.

3.   Your organisation has the ability to transform itself for the better.
Putting data to work with optimised analytics almost always does more than lead on to an organisation’s next best moves. It can also unfold opportunities for the organisation’s culture to evolve. Data doesn’t just drive decision making; it can also drive organisational change. This has a far greater impact for business travel where culture and traveller behaviour are crucial for the success of any programme strategy. For any organisation that intends to reach its full potential, ignoring data (and its uses) is not really an option.

This post was written by Asif Bashir, Founder & Director Axcent Travel Solutions. Asif has over a decade of experience in the travel ecosystem supporting managers and executives in the decision making process. He has helped corporates ranging from medium sized companies to global Fortune organizations across various industry sectors make insight driven decisions to support corporate objectives and save millions of dollars.

Axcent Travel Solutions will be exhibiting at the Business Travel Show on 24-25 February 2016 - buyers can register for free entry to meet 250 suppliers, choose from 60 conference sessions and network with 7,500 professionals at www.businesstravelshow.com.

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