I am COO of an on-line travel agency which advertises and lives on-line but handles all bookings by phone or email. Our data analysis requirements span the usual gamut of online advertising via multiple search engines, direct advertising, call center management, lead conversion and efficiency as well as product and demographic performance analysis. To this end, we had assessed competitive products and IT was already testing a leading in-memory technology – but the that product fit was sub-par and we quickly stopped the trial. The solution required specialist IT resources to work with the tool proprietary scripts and consultants to work with and modify the application for our needs. This was not a cost effective way for our business to invest in BI, nor did it simplify our decision making. We assessed that such a tool might have increased our cost by as much as $80,000 a year, given the need for incremental headcount and hardware.
I set a goal where everyone in the company should be able to work quickly and efficiently with the underlying data and reach effective decisions, so we needed a solution that could address three main requirements:
1. Provide near real-time feedback for agents and managers on any metrics (such as sales closings, destination performance, advertising conversion rates) that would help them better serve our clients;
2. Support dashboard and report-building mechanisms that are simple enough for non-technical users to use while still sophisticated enough to provide the ability to drill down and manipulate the data; and
3. Nimble and scalable enough to not require major infrastructure upgrades or impact the existing infrastructure as reports are generated.
SiSense delivered a solution that met the requirements. Within a few months of purchase, we had what we needed: a near real-time dashboard that didn't bog down the company’s servers no matter how many data sources it accessed, and a solution, intuitive enough to allow non-technical users to create their own reports.
SiSense Prism has helped our IT department reclaim time, provide booking agents with near real-time updates, and allowed sales managers to coach and counsel agents to meet their sales goals. The rest of the company can call up reports immediately and manipulate it on the fly, instead of waiting for IT to publish it. IT now has time to focus on core projects while retaining their role as the data authority and interact with users as resources rather than script writers.
Beyond the operational benefits of the solution, the company data-driven culture is also greatly reinforced: Everyone is much closer to the data. All decision makers, managers and agents can now analyze data and share insights in a snap. The travel industry is highly competitive and the fact that we glean insights in real-time across marketing, sales and operations is a key strength for us.