The business travel industry has undergone a significant transformation in recent years, with data analytics playing an essential role in shaping the decision-making processes. As technology continues to advance, so does the vast amount of data. When these data are utilized correctly, you can get valuable insights into your data driven business travel reports. 

Hence, in this blog, we will discuss the importance of data driven travel decisions and how leveraging analytics through Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms can offer deeper understanding and optimization opportunities for travel managers and company owners. 

The Rise of Data Driven Decision-Making 

Earlier, business travel decisions were made based on intuition, limited data, or past experiences. While these methods may have generated success to a certain extent, they were often limited in scope and prone to bias.

However, with digitalization and the proliferation of online travel platforms, you can now get insights into vast data. By leveraging this data, you can gain a competitive edge that will help increase customer satisfaction and drive revenue growth.

Data driven business travel decision-making in the business travel industry involves systematically collecting, processing, and analyzing vast amounts of data.

This helps you identify patterns, trends, and other information you weren’t previously aware of. Hence, SaaS-based platforms have emerged as a powerful tool in this domain that offers scalable solutions to process large volumes of data quickly and efficiently. 

Essential Reports in Travel Analytics

SaaS-based travel platforms for business travel analytics offer a wide range of data driven business travel reports that helps travel managers or company owners in the decision-making process. Let’s dive deeper into some of the essential travel reports and what insights you can draw from them:

Booking Patterns and Seasonal Trends Reports

Booking patterns and seasonal trends reports help business travel companies analyze peak travel seasons, off-seasons, and trends or patterns related to your employees’ booking behavior. This information enables you to optimize your pricing strategies and send only required number of employees on a business trip. 

Fare Comparison Report

As many employees travel frequently, airline and hotel bookings are quite high. Hence, it is essential to have fare comparison reports.

These kinds of business travel reports of airlines and hotels can help managers to optimize travel costs. By consolidating all the prices, travel managers can make data driven business travel decisions. Based on these reports, you can also figure out the best deals and discounts

Employee Preferences and Behaviour Report

Understanding employee preferences and behavior is crucial for delivering personalized travel experiences. SaaS platforms offer business travel reports that capture insights into employees’ demographics, travel habits, and spending patterns.

With this knowledge, you can curate tailored business travel packages, recommend relevant add-ons, and provide exceptional business travel support. 

For example, if the reports indicate a preference for luxury accommodations amongst a few employees, you can partner with these hotels and provide exclusive deals by negotiating with them.

Expense Report

Expenses are a crucial part of every business. Therefore, it is mandatory that you have an expense report. This report is one of the important data driven business travel reports as it gives you a detailed view of employees’ various travel expenses.

It could be for flights, hotels, car rentals, incidental expenses, clientele expenses, entertainment expenses, and activities. With this report, you can identify areas where employees have exceeded your travel budget and implement cost-saving measures without compromising the quality of services. 

Supplier Performance and Relationship Management

If you have employees traveling very often for work purposes, then you must definitely rely on various suppliers, such as airlines, hotels, and ground transportation providers, to provide seamless travel experiences. SaaS-based analytics reports allow companies to evaluate supplier performance based on-time delivery, customer satisfaction, and cost-effectiveness metrics. 

For instance, if a report indicates consistent delays from a specific airline, the travel company can engage in constructive discussions with the airline to address the issue and improve service quality. You can also look for better airlines that deliver prompt services.

Risk Assessment and Management Reports

The unpredictable nature of travel requires organizations to be prepared for various contingencies, including natural disasters, political unrest, and health crises. Hence, having a business travel report on such risks can provide real-time data on geopolitical conditions, health advisories, and safety ratings for destinations. 

Travel managers or company owners can interpret these reports to make informed decisions about itinerary adjustments, traveler safety protocols, and crisis response plans. By staying vigilant and proactive, you can ensure the well-being of your employees and clients. This helps ensure employees have a smooth business travel experience. 

Cancellations and Rescheduling Reports

Business travelers often have busy schedules, so their travel plans can change significantly. This causes frequent changes in their travel plans. But these changes can sometimes be expensive, especially if they happen close to the date they are supposed to travel. 

Therefore, this report explains how often employees cancel or change their plans. It helps you determine if their reasons for the changes are genuine.

If employees are changing their travel plans frequently, it might be better for you to get flexible flight tickets. This helps you save a chunk of travel money by avoiding extra costs with changing flights.

Travel ROI Report

Lastly, having a business travel report with your travel ROI is crucial. This report contains various information and measurements about travel costs and results. It is important because it helps you understand how well your money is used. 
For instance, when you look at the return on investment (ROI) for different kinds of trips, such as making deals, partnerships, or earning money, travel managers can decide if the money spent on those business trips was worth it.

If some of the trips consistently yield a low ROI, you may have to change how you spend your travel money. This can help you spend smarter and get more value from your business trips. 

Interpreting Insights for Business Success

While business travel reports provide a treasure trove of data, the true value lies in interpreting these insights and their transformation into actionable strategies. 

Here’s how you can effectively interpret the reports to drive success:

Holistic Analysis

Rather than viewing reports in isolation, travel managers or company owners should adopt a holistic approach by analyzing data from multiple sources. You must cross-refer travel booking trends with employee preferences and supplier performance. This way, you can uncover nuanced insights that lead to more impactful decisions. 

Predictive Modeling 

Advanced travel analytics tools within SaaS platforms often include predictive modeling capabilities. You can leverage these tools to forecast future trends, anticipate employee demands, and optimize resource allocation. 

For example, predictive modeling could help a company anticipate a surge in business travel during a specific industry conference and allocate additional resources to accommodate the increased demand.

Continuous Monitoring and Iteration

The travel industry is dynamic, with trends constantly evolving. Companies should establish a continuous monitoring and iteration culture based on data driven business travel reports and insights.

You should regularly review and update strategies based on the latest report. This ensures that the company remains agile and responsive to changing market conditions.

Collaborative Decision-Making 

Data-driven decision-making is most effective when it involves collaboration across departments. As a company owner, you should encourage cross-functional teams to analyze reports and contribute their expertise. 

For instance, the marketing team can collaborate with the finance team to align pricing strategies with booking trends, resulting in a more comprehensive and well-rounded approach.

Invest in the Right SaaS-Based Platform to Make Informed Decisions

In the ever-evolving world of business travel, making informed decisions is paramount. The analytics integration within SaaS platforms empowers companies with the tools they need to extract meaningful insights from data and translate those insights into tangible strategies. By leveraging the above-mentioned business travel reports, companies can enhance their operational efficiency, deliver personalized experiences, and stay ahead of the competition.

ITILITE is a SaaS-based travel and expense management platform that enables you to plan your business trips seamlessly. We provide you with customized reports such as budget vs. actual customized reports and employee and department-wise spending reports, among many others. Furthermore, we provide you with the world’s first virtual travel consultant, which helps you optimize your travel costs by comparing them with industry standards. 

To know more about our advanced features, schedule a free demo with our experts now!