In many cases, people often look at data strategies as very complex. They might think that it involves many people, requires a lot of infrastructure and processes, and can be extremely expensive. But take it from us, this is not the case. It all starts with knowing what the problem and challenges are. When it comes to data strategy, there are six core data challenges.
2nd Largest and Most Controllable Expense
Whether or not it is one of your current objectives, controlling and watching over your company’s expenses should always be a factor in your businesses plans. But out of the many expenses that are necessary and hard to control, travel is not only the most controllable, but for the most part, it usually a company’s second largest expense.
Data used to be viewed as very retrospective. But today, people are using data in a very different way. When we consider travel programs that are changing to be much more personalized and focused on savings, controlling that expenditure is really key to the success of an organization. Saving a dollar can actually be more than the making of one in the first place.
T&E Data is Disparate and Disjointed
The challenge with T&E data is that it is very disjointed in where it resides and where it could be found. We don’t have any belief that travel programs will stay as they are today. Whether an organization would rather use a preferred TMC to work with or whether you’re looking through an online booking tool or booking directly with suppliers, it is important that you know the number of data sources. Also, when you consider that you could potentially bring in expense data, card data, HR data, etc., there is a lot of information that actually can enrich a T&E data strategy program.
For travel managers, it’s all about cognitive re-framing. This isn’t necessarily a challenge. It’s more of a realization of an opportunity. With the correct tools and a good strategy, those many data sources can help make better business decisions.
No Data Standards, No Integration
Due to an ever-increasing amount of data sources or buckets of data, consequently there is very little integration. Inconsistencies can appear across your data sets and that is absolutely a given across any organization. This can be a struggle especially if you are a travel manager or if you are someone within procurement or sourcing. Having accurate data is fundamental to achieving the best for your program.
No Single Program is Like Any Other
Every program is different in strategy and has unique requirements. One organization and its targets are very different from another and this certainly applies to travel programs as well. There is no “one size fits all” and the partners and suppliers that you work with have to understand that. At Grasp Technologies, we build travel programs to reflect each organization we work with. Coupled with customizable solutions, we help you find the perfect travel programs for your company. Top it off with the right metrics and the right measures to ensure accountability and the success of your program.
Tedious and Slow
For many, the unfortunate truth is that data management can still be a manual and very untimely task. To make matters worse, because it can be such a tedious process, the manual fixing of data can often happen at the time of the actual reporting process. What we end up with is a process that often doesn’t account for all errors and the information is not accurate. Ideally, these corrections have to be done early and at the source if possible. This will help manage and ensure that data remains consistent for whenever you need to access that information.. There will always be a need for manual intervention. But when it is the only way of doing things, then the inefficiencies kick in and it becomes untimely. Automation is a very valuable tool that can help you ensure that your data is as accurate and consistent as possible.
Reactive Vs Proactive
It used to be that data created a very reactive environment, where you act when you need it and that’s it. But today, it is being proactively used to forecast, to plan, to measure. It can actually help you design and personalize your programs. But if you are constantly bogged down by challenge after challenge, it corners you and forces a reactive environment and you end up not making the best out of your data. When your data thrives and is accessible to everyone that needs it and it is as accurate and efficient as it can be, you can be sure that your company is making the best decisions.