Data is at the Heart of Winning Over Today’s On-Demand Traveler

The emergence of the on-demand economy has altered the way today’s travelers interact and use data before and during a trip. To properly service and win over the on-demand traveler, data in the form of proactive, actionable information and communications lies at the core of building this relationship.

Cornerstone Information Systems Will Unveil 4site™ and TravelOptix™ at GBTA – Innovation that Helps Solve Industry’s Biggest Challenges

Attendees at this year’s GBTA Convention in Orlando will be introduced to Cornerstone’s 4site™ and TravelOptix™, two new game-changing solutions for travel management companies, corporations, and travelers. Cornerstone, a leading developer of software applications for the travel industry, is a featured exhibitor at the event and will be offering a special preview of the cutting-edge advancements at their booth #827.

The new event-driven app 4site™ provides real-time and contextual trip data directly to the corporate traveler’s mobile device. Registration is enabled through their current agency and travel services provider, making traveler access to the benefits of the 4site mobile app a seamless, hassle-free process. Through traveler messaging and insightful business intelligence, 4site™ administers real-time information including:

  • Itineraries and travel options
  • Trip disruption – both detecting and managing
  • Re-accommodation and agency services

By delivering insights through analytics, TravelOptix™ assists enterprises and their agencies in making informed decisions based on consumable business intelligence. Distributed through designated TMC’s, the solution provides relevant, dynamic and actionable visualizations of an organization’s travel data – and much more. TravelOptix™ enables insights on:

  • Predefined and DYO (Design Your Own) Analytics
  • Incorporate your own Data Sources (e.g. credit card, expense, and HR)
  • Publish Analytics and Story Telling to Stakeholders
  • KPI Monitoring and Trending

“We are setting out to solve two of the most significant problems in the travel industry; trip information, travel disruption and data consolidation,” stated Mat Orrego, CEO of Cornerstone. “We are setting out to solve these challenges with solutions that scale and are thrilled to reveal both 4site™ and TravelOptix™ at the GBTA Convention.”

GBTA is the largest annual gathering of business travel and meetings managers, meeting planners, procurement professionals and suppliers in the world with nearly 7,000 attendees participating in education, professional development, and networking opportunities. Cornerstone designed these new solutions to deliver better analytic visualization and actionable data for their clients.

Interested parties can schedule an appointment at the Global Business Travel Conference (GBTA) in Orlando, July 25-29, 2015 by visit https://www.ciswired.com or can stop by booth #827 to see Cornerstone’s newest innovations.

What’s the Solution to Optimizing Your Business Travel?

At Cornerstone, we are busy preparing for the next week’s Global Business Travel Association Convention (GBTA) in Orlando. While we are looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones, this year’s event is particularly significant to us because we are returning to our roots as innovators and launching two exciting new products to the market – TravelOptix™ and 4site™.

At Cornerstone, we set out to solve two of the most significant problems in the travel industry. These two issues are data consolidation and the proper visualization of data to make it actionable – as well as the world of proactively managing trip disruption effectively. Our groundbreaking advances with TravelOptix™ and 4site™ are designed to address these challenges and optimize travel for companies and travelers. TravelOptix™ is a powerful, affordable, user-friendly business intelligence tool for travel and other data. The event-driven app 4site™ provides real-time and contextual trip data directly to the corporate traveler’s mobile device, making the travel experience seamless.

I was recently reading the article How to Optimize your Travel Budget by Chuck Leddy. In the article, he states that middle market companies need to focus on “controlling costs and making wise investments in managing travel budgets that can improve your bottom line and help you develop sustainable relationships with clients and stakeholders.”

Getting the highest return on a travel budget is critical to any size company’s success. What is the best approach to do this? Having the proper tools and an analytic business intelligence platform is the foundation for making smarter business decisions when optimizing your travel budget.

The introduction of TravelOptix™ will clearly demonstrate the power of impactful data visualizations coupled with easily assessable analytics. The ability to import, view, join and analyze non-travel data, as well as traditional travel data puts the control of understanding your travel program compliance and gaps back into the hands of the company. Cornerstone will make this available from the start with an iBank app, and we look forward to demonstrating the power of the solution at booth #827 at GBTA.

In today’s competitive economy and fast-paced environment, we all face the challenge of optimizing our business travel budgets to the fullest. Knowledge is power, and leveraging data provides the insights needed to make the best decisions. Cornerstone is proud to deliver the solutions to this problem for the industry. As we always say….”Love your Data.”

Quantitative data-driven insights to make better business decisions

Data analysis is not new, yet everyone seems to be talking about it. What is new is the way companies are approaching using data as a core element in their day to day decision making. What is also new are the variety of tools available to measure and report on data. Whether you are a large enterprise company or an SMB, there are four key elements a company should embrace to execute better business decisions using quantitative data – training, measuring, balancing, and choosing.

Training for Executives and Managers

No longer can executives and managers sit by complacently while others report company metrics to them. In today’s fast-paced work environment, everyone finds themselves working under a compressed time frame to produce results. This pressure might come from investors, the consumers themselves or equally important, the competition. Whatever the demand driver is, today’s main stakeholders need to enhance their skills to survive in a data-driven company culture.

According to a report by the Harvard Business Review, eight out of ten executives say they are reliant on data in their roles. Almost three-quarters say their areas rely on data to make decisions and roughly the same majority also predict that their organizations’ overall reliance on internal data will increase in two years.

This means making decisions based on data needs to become a scalable process within the organization and not just the opinion or interpretation of one individual or department. Companies who have adopted this process have been rewarded with increased profitability. Leveraging data to incorporate a faster decision-making process is significant. The adage “time is money” is more relevant today than ever before.

Monitor and Measure

The applications for reporting data have become so sophisticated that identifying what to monitor and measure is overwhelming. A common mistake companies make is placing the same weight of importance on all metrics that are measured. The first steps are identifying the right KPI’s (key performance indicators) for your organizations individual goals.

Fundamentally, this means identifying which metrics offer a clear picture of how you are performing against an objective. Choose a manageable set of KPI’s to gauge the health of targeted initiatives such as travel programs, sales and marketing and revenue generation. Also, consider within a program the importance of savings metrics, program gaps, policy compliance, budget enforcement and future strategy.

Analytics tools should provide rich, dynamic and actionable visualizations of companies’ data irrespective of the device used. Conveying insights through analytics allows companies to make informed decisions based on consumable business intelligence.

Balancing Data and Instinct

Balancing data with instinct is imperative in defining your analytic ecosystem. Great leaders have always had the unique ability to see not only what others do not, but what is not even there yet. Data is critical, and metrics can become scalable, however, to succeed and lead a “side order of vision and creativity” cannot be ignored.

The ability to receive real-time, actionable data is critical in today’s business environment. With the rapid advances in technology along with an aggressive competitor landscape, we no longer have the luxury of watching data for months at a time hoping to see improvement. You may need to apply your own experience to that information and choose your next steps accordingly even if that means overriding what the system recommends.

Quick decisions, sometimes relying on more on instinct than data, need to be made in order to keep your business model relevant and profitable.

Choose the Right Tools and Providers

Before choosing any technology solutions, evaluate what is a crucial to propel your company’s business strategies forward. Does the application have the ability to communicate in real-time and deliver relevant solutions? Can it provide extensive, reliable data that empowers the company to confidently make data-driven decisions? Is the data customizable with the ability to set benchmarks to easily and visually see where you measure up to your KPI’s? Can the application evolve and grow with your company or will it be obsolete in a few years? How will mobile impact your data ecosystem and does the provider have a mobile vision?

Also do not forget to do your due diligence on the company itself. Who are the principals of the business? How long have they been in business and are their core values in line with your objectives? Do they understand your organization or just trying to provide a cookie cutter solution to all?

Most importantly do they enable you, as their customer, to be strategic vs. reactive and ultimately help you operate a lucrative business?

To survive and thrive in today’s competitive landscape, companies need to rely on the ability to leverage accurate, relevant data which is comprehensible, actionable and aligns with the short and long-term goals of the business. Whether it is travel, retail, merchandising or marketing, there are four key elements that are vital in driving decisions that elevate the data into a quantitative decision-making vehicle. Analytics training for your executives and managers, measuring and monitoring KPI’s, balancing data with gut instinct and choosing the right tools and providers are the guiding principles in moving your business from being one of the crowd to leading the way.