Data Analytics

Airlines Industry: Flying High With an Integrated View of Data

Data is the new currency. Considering the large amount of data airlines gather, are they using data analysis and optimization to leverage this currency to deliver superior experiences to their customers? Most airlines would like to think so. This blog is an attempt to stitch together the data that airlines are probably missing in generating more revenue and creating better customer experiences.

Data collection and data analytics is tricky especially when dealing with disparate airline systems and channels. Think about your own interactions as a passenger. We connect with airlines through various channels and agencies at various stages, making it difficult for them to have an integrated view of their customer data for effective data analytics.

Let’s map a typical flier’s touchpoints with the airline. Your first interaction with the airline might be through a Facebook post or a promotional offer in your inbox or via Google. Next, you book tickets either directly on the airline’s website or through a travel aggregator such as Expedia. Or you might call your trusted travel agent. On the day of travel, you interact with the ground staff and the inflight staff. Once you land, you may book a taxi or hotel at the checkout concierge.

If we study these interactions, we see that passenger data resides in siloes. It could be with customer relations, corporate sales teams, partner websites or travel agents, reservation departments and call centers, marketing teams, social media, sales kiosks and inflight teams. There is no single integrated view of the customer data that is available to the airline, limiting its ability to analyze the data as a whole and thereby influence customer experience.

In addition, airlines have two distinct set of travelers in the commercial segment, the business/corporate traveler and the leisure/family traveler, each of whom have completely different set of needs and wallet spend. Corporate travelers rely on loyalty, hub and spoke convenience, fleet and class type, as important parameters whereas for leisure travelers, the choice of airlines is based on timing, price, route etc. Customer experience is a key differentiator for airlines to gain customer loyalty at a time when airlines are getting increasingly commoditized.

Integrated View of Customer Data

Technology now allows us to integrate these disparate sources of airline data stores to get one unified picture. Through personal attributes such as email ID, phone number, device ID etc., it is possible to identify customers through the click stream data.

Broadly, we can divide the enterprise and external data under five major buckets: demographics data, sales data, browsing data, loyalty data and social data. Using these data points to create a comprehensive customer journey map from path to purchase can facilitate targeted recommendations, generate relevant loyalty points, provide inputs to partner sales and create a differentiated customer experience. Besides, integrating disparate data stores can empower airlines to improve operational efficiency, risk management, and explore newer revenue models.

One great example, even though it isn’t from the airline industry, is that of a global European sports and lifestyle goods retailer. We created a customer DNA gene factory model for the company using data on customer demographics, sales transactions, marketing campaigns, reviews, etc., to understand customer behavior.

The results were brilliant because we literally turned the 80/20 rule on its head by optimizing data preparation and analysis using comprehensive and intelligent data products and prefabricated customer genes. Because the right people within the organization had the right information at the right time, decision making really improved. Our model covered almost 80 percent of all their business use-cases across marketing, sales, and operations.

There are plenty of advantages of having an integrated view.

  • Personalized and targeted offers
  • Upsell and cross Sell
  • Real-time deals
  • Consistent customer experience

Decoding the Customer DNA

Since an integrated view of data leads to more effective customer experience management, we at Infosys have designed a solution called the Infosys Genome solution that can help enterprises decode their customer DNA.

By collating enterprise, digital, partner, and external data, it creates a boundary-less data platform that enables the creation of networked data products in the data intelligence grid. These behavioral, marketing, digital, and social insights can be seamlessly embedded into the business processes of the enterprise.

The solution also provides a user-friendly integrated ‘marketplace’ for data discovery and self-service analytics through a business semantics engine and a customer gene store that can be very relevant to airlines. Customer genes can be a great resource to build a self-service-driven and customer-centric foundation for explorative, predictive, and prescriptive analytics. More details on the Infosys Genome solution is available at