Data can be a great opportunity for making the most out of your business travel this year. When managing corporate travel, data can help improve efficiency, save money, and provide a better experience for all your business travelers. It can go even further and inform other areas of your business—if you let it.
Today, travel managers are looking at the data they have available to make better decisions for their company when it comes to business travel. It’s not just about having access to data, but the quality of data you have that can make a real difference to your business.
This article will dive into how you can gather quality travel data and utilize it to make smarter business decisions. But first, let’s get those stakeholders on board with the idea.
Why do you need to prioritize travel management data?
If your employees are traveling regularly, there’s a gold mine of data sitting at your fingertips. Knowing how to collect that data and what to do with it can be a game-changer for your travel strategy.
Once you’ve convinced leadership of the importance of collecting your travel data, you can start to assign the tools and time to make the most of it.
How can data help travel managers with corporate travel?
Travel data can help your business to make a lot of critical decisions. Outside of travel operations, it can help with:
- Understanding your product’s emerging customer profiles
- Identifying new geographical demographics or potential go-to-market destinations
- Employee acquisition and retention
Let’s explore four ways travel data can specifically help your travel management process.
1. Corporate travel program compliance
Compliance can be a tricky thing when it comes to employee travel, however, it's essential for your duty of care, risk management, and accurate reimbursement processes. If your travel manager doesn’t have a clear overview of what each employee is booking, you won’t know an employee is out of policy until it’s too late.
However, this is where travel data, and travel management services like the ones TravelPerk provides, can help. Using data correctly can help you identify those repeat offenders, as well as any steps within your employee’s travel booking process that can be fine-tuned or made clearer.
For example, TravelPerk’s booking feature can help improve your travel compliance rates to 100%. By combining an integrated travel policy with automated approval flows, our platform will show your travelers what’s in and out of policy.
So, in case a traveler wants to book something outside of company policy, they’ll need approval from their manager first. Voila, you have compliance.
2. Travel data can help cut costs
In the long run, using travel data can help your business make wise decisions as to minimizing your travel expenses and optimizing your travel spend. How?
Predictive analysis. A travel management platform like TravelPerk can digest months, even years,’ worth of expense data into one digestible overview. By doing so, you can identify which departments or employees are spending the most and if that spend is necessary.
This expense management initiative can help organize your travel budget, save on travel costs, and make sure you're getting a return on investment for your business trips.
You can also spot booking trends and practice benchmarking spend goals. For example, if your employees tend to be booking one particular hotel chain, perhaps there’s a loyalty rewards program that you can latch on to, save costs, and get better benefits for your employees staying there. cancellations
Lastly, predictive analysis can look at booking trends. Is there a certain time of year your business is statistically traveling more? If that’s the case, you can identify if there’s a way to distribute your travel better and, therefore, your spend. Or, budget accordingly for the next calendar year.
3. Data helps build more efficient processes
AI-driven travel data and booking tools learn from the data they have. In travel, they’re able to highlight common destinations, your most popular transport, or booking types. This will inform your travel acquisition strategy, and help streamline policies for these locations in the future.
Efficiency doesn’t stop there though. Handling data well can also help streamline your tax process at the end of each financial year—at least within your global business travel spend. For example, TravelPerk allows your travel or finance team to generate reports based on recoverable VAT.
Say goodbye to last-minute scrambling to get taxes in on time and potentially missing an opportunity to reclaim on business travel. Smooth out the process and be as prepared as can be when the time comes.
4. Data helps contribute to greener travel
A great benefit to using data for your corporate travel is the positive impact it can have on your carbon footprint.
For example, TravelPerk’s GreenPerk solution provides an overview of each tonne of CO₂ emissions for every business trip a company makes with 100% accuracy. The solution then suggests a financial contribution to a carbon-offsetting initiative per tonne on each future booking you make.
With 75% of businesses being able to earn money from investing in green technology, data can be a part of that investment you make for your company.
Plus, visibility on your carbon footprint can give your business and your employees’ peace of mind when traveling, knowing the business is doing its part to offset travel miles.
Start using travel data to positively influence your business
Business travel can be made smarter with data. When travel managers have access to quality, digestible, and actionable data, they can start positively impacting your business travel strategy as well as the business on the whole.
Unfortunately, businesses that don't use a corporate travel management platform or travel management company (TMC) and are still booking travel on consumer sites are struggling to gather accurate data, and it’s a missed opportunity.
If your business is trying to become more data-minded and looking at cost savings, remaining agile, granting more autonomy, and giving back to the world in the process, a business travel management platform may be the perfect fit for you.
Let your travel management reporting tool collect valuable data for you and receive detailed reporting on everything we’ve mentioned above—in real-time.
The travel industry is ever-changing, but data can help you get a firmer grip on things. Customize your reports to show the data you need, share them with those who can benefit from them, and keep improving your business with one source of truth, one day, one trip at a time.
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