Airport investment plans include business intelligence

The complex, modern IT environment is the secret behind the increasing agility of major players in a number of fields. The rapid discoveries of new and efficient processes over the past few years and the falling costs of technology like data storage architecture have opened the floodgates for new ways of doing business. Now, "big data" is the most prominent buzzword in many industries and advanced business intelligence and analytics systems are being called upon to turn massive resources into actionable insight. In complex fields the world over, such as the airline industry, business intelligence is seeing a surge in interest, according to a recent survey.

Airline executives want data
In a study reported by Airport World and others, IT firm SITA found that every single airline that spoke to researchers plans to implement business intelligence strategies. The survey noted that last year, 20 percent of companies in the field had no interest in BI. The source stated that airlines want to improve their service offerings and see BI as a means to this end.

"All airlines are investing in business intelligence to improve their operations and boost revenues. We see a strong desire to increase revenues using techniques borrowed from the retail industry, including personalization," said SITA CEO Francesco Violante.

Of course, just because airlines want to work with BI, that does not mean they are ready. The survey found that despite the enthusiasm for business intelligence and its associated traits, only 9 percent are happy with the quality of their data resources. In addition, 7 percent are convinced that they have enough data integration infrastructure to make BI work. As Violante noted, just under three-fourths of respondent airlines consider BI a high priority area for investment, meaning they will have to become accustomed to the related processes in short order.

Analytics concepts become mainstream
Everyone is talking about analytics and how it can help. In a recent Forbes column, IT expert Gil Press noted that the term "big data" made the cut for the most recent edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. While Press cast doubt on the origin of the word as chosen by the dictionary's editors, the mere inclusion of the term speaks volumes about its permanence in the IT world.

With the ideas behind analytics now widely accepted and pursued, companies without any sort of BI could soon be left behind by more forward-thinking peers – according to the SITA data, this is already true for airlines.

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