Intelligent Analytics

Data Intelligence Platform Connects Legacy System Silos

Traditionally, data has been contained within legacy silos, making it difficult to obtain a comprehensive view of real-time data across the enterprise. The airline industry, in particular, is largely dependent on legacy systems. This supports a multitude of open systems, creating a complex integration challenge especially when airlines seek to gain greater control over disparate data.

Furthermore, the airline industry is moving into an era in which information and data analytics will serve as a differentiator. Airlines need real-time access to their data to develop intelligent applications that will assist with both reactive and proactive decisions.

Sabre Airline Solutions® is investing in Sabre IntelXchange, which addresses these problems outside of the legacy environment. It does not replace legacy systems, but rather, it isolates them to the repeatable transaction processes they routinely handle while introducing the flexibility and scalability these legacy systems lack.

Managing IT Costs

Airlines can manage ongoing IT costs by eliminating point-to-point integrations and enabling faster time to market for new applications.

Sabre IntelXchange provides a powerful platform for quickly developing applications that rely on near real-time data in the areas of revenue management, customer care, flight and ground operations, and fraud detection, among others. Critical raw data from various sources is captured and loaded in the Sabre IntelXchange operational data store and displayed in real time as “actionable” information for the benefit of other applications and users. Access to near real-time data empowers Sabre IntelXchange to analyze and document historical information that may influence decision-making, business processes and forecasts.

An open and flexible platform for the integration of data, Sabre IntelXchange identifies and manages the logical links between application data silos. Thus, applications using the platform can cross the entire airline data space regardless of which application houses the master data.

A business-rules engine provides event-driven triggers users can act upon as well as supply data to downstream applications. Sabre IntelXchange also enables users to access data, via Web services and queues, in a consistent format regardless of the source system.

There are several examples of how Sabre IntelXchange enables airlines to overcome traditional data silos and help create innovative solutions. These include areas such as:

  • Customer centricity,
  • Revenue management,
  • Airline operations,
  • Automated passenger-risk assessment.

Customer Centricity

The focus on providing a differentiated and intelligent customer experience has never been greater than it is today. Multiple industries, including aviation, are placing strong emphasis on smart data and big data analytics to help elevate the customer experience and subsequently boost consumer loyalty and revenues. Customer Experience Manager, one of the applications powered by Sabre IntelXchange, enables an airline to create a consistent and optimal customer experience throughout the travel process: from booking through in-flight to post travel.

The tool allows airlines to apply automated business logic to customer touch points, enabling intelligent processing of customer data analytics. Armed with this information, airlines can quickly respond to the dynamic nature of the competitive environment. Customer Experience Manager gives airlines the ability to differentiate service based on fundamental data elements (point of sale, frequent flyer information, historical experiences and market trends) and dynamic analyzed data (customer value, lifetime value and analyzed scores reflective of combined data sets).

Revenue Management

There are various ways the Sabre IntelXchange platform can help improve an airline’s revenue management and pricing practices. PNR show-up forecasting and promotion tracking are two critical areas that can contribute to an airline’s bottom line if optimally managed.

PNR Show-Up Forecasting

Traditional overbooking models forecast by using cabin-level or segment-class-level data and historical booking trends. However, an increasing awareness that the accuracy of overbooking methods can have a significant impact on an airline’s bottom line is generating a great deal of interest in next-generation forecasting tools that further leverage the robust data available. PNR Show-up Forecasting is one of the vehicles Sabre Airline Solutions uses to refine the revenue-management process.

PNR Show-up Forecasting analyzes PNR bookings for each flight to determine the probability a passenger will arrive for a flight using key variables including, but not limited to, ticket status, number of PNR updates, first-segment indicator, days until departure, seat request, special service request and frequent flyer number.

Sabre Airline Solutions has conducted benchmark studies with the PNR Show-Up Forecasting capability relative to traditional methods. Results have shown a 5 percent to 10 percent improvement in accuracy with forecasts using PNR attributes.

Ancillary And Booking Promotions Data

Promotion Tracker will empower airlines with information on the correlation between ancillary and booking promotions.

Promotion Tracking

Airlines have traditionally tracked promotions by booking class, which is at best an incomplete method. The challenge then is to track fares in real time at a more granular level. Promotion Tracker, also powered by Sabre IntelXchange, captures booking data by several variables, enabling pricing and revenue management departments to track the impact of promotions in terms of revenue generation and dilution. These variables include booking class, point of sale, selling date, travel date, fare quote, bookings in other fare types, seats sold and passengers per booking.

However, tracking promotions is only the first step. Later this year, Sabre Airline Solutions will take the Sabre IntelXchange platform to the next level by fully integrating with revenue management and revenue accounting systems to provide a full promotion-management solution.

Airline Operations

Two main issues related to airline operations include irregular operations and the ability to improve airport operations and network efficiencies. Sabre Airline Solutions offers technology, on top of Sabre IntelXchange, to help airlines remain connected during irregular operations and strengthen integration and communication with the operations control center (OCC).

Connected Airline

Airlines spend an estimated 25 percent to 30 percent of their time handling irregular operations (IROPS), which creates high resource costs and can lead to excessive passenger frustration. Currently, data silos prevent sending situationally aware messages to the appropriate parties in a timely manner, and communications systems do not support the two-way communication necessary to confirm recovery plans.

Time is of the essence in IROPS, and the need for real-time, two-way messaging is currently unfulfilled. Airlines are looking for ways to reduce delay and cancellation costs and gain quicker access to information that will decrease delays and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Common Airline Data Challenges

Powered by Sabre IntelXchange, Connected Airline enables airlines to send a set of messages that convey the right information to the right party in the right form at the right time to accelerate recovery from irregular operations. Using existing and near-future advances in wireless, mobile and satellite communication technologies, critical information is transmitted through SMS text messages, emails, mobile apps, in-flight entertainment systems, flight attendants, electronic flight bags and ACARS. These messages are generated by a combination of middleware integration and a rules engine provided via Sabre IntelXchange that determines the information to send and the proper channel in which to send it.

Operations Control

Process improvements and optimization techniques and tools have revolutionized the airline operations control center (OCC). Still, airlines are searching for ways to improve end-to-end airport operations and further enhance the overall network efficiencies of this complex environment. As a result, some airlines are creating a hub control center (HCC) to strengthen integration and communication with the OCC.

Sabre Airline Solutions is developing an industry-leading hub-management solution, on top of Sabre IntelXchange, to help airlines more effectively manage the HCC. The tool will provide a real-time view of current day. Based on user-defined rules, it will proactively alert the airline to disruptions such as passenger misconnects and unavailable equipment. Additionally, it will perform tracking activities related to aircraft turnaround management.

New Applications In The Works

The Sabre IntelXchange platform will power new applications that will solve unique challenges facing airlines, such as revenue integrity, customer experience management and PNR no-show forecasting.

Many hub-management solutions look only at operational/flight operations data. What differentiates Sabre Airline Solutions’ hub-management system is that it will link flight operations and passenger data. This will enable the hub-management solution to automatically recognize critical passenger connections, evaluate passenger worth via a customer value score, and calculate misconnect and other costs to generate an optimal recommendation for managing the situation and automatically rebooking high-value customers in real time. The customer value score is calculated based on factors such as PNR, customer loyalty and flight data, to name a few, that is stored and connected on the Sabre IntelXchange platform.

The decision to hold flights based on passengers’ customer value scores and rebook them as soon as feasible will save airlines operational costs while improving customer service and increasing loyalty.

Automated Passenger Risk Assessment

Governments have long recognized the need for real-time access to airline passenger data. Lack of effective tools to efficiently sort through passenger data has turned risk assessment into a cumbersome, manually-intensive process. Today, on average, security agents screen an estimated 2.3 billion passenger air trips.

Sabre® Qik® Analysis, an industry-leading passenger risk-assessment system, automates the risk-assessment process for up to 100 percent of passengers on inbound and outbound flights. Qik Analysis enables countries to control and secure their borders by pre-screening passengers prior to their arrival at the border or even before leaving the departure border.

The Sabre IntelXchange platform provides data analytics, business rules and actions to support Qik Analysis. Traditionally, agents have taken a reactive approach when querying the watch-list database. That process is now replaced by a more-powerful, proactive approach in which Interpol (the International Criminal Police Organization), fraud detection and/or border security agencies feed data to the Sabre IntelXchange data store in real time. The fraud or watch-list data is then linked with real-time PNR data provided by airlines to activate user-configured alerts as soon as a booking is made and an exact match is identified on the watch list or fraud score. The solution then enables airlines to return passenger-risk data to border security staff for follow up.

Real-time Promotion Tracking And Refining

Promotion Tracker will enable airlines to track and refine promotions in real time. An internal rules engine will allow automatic triggers on predefined scenarios leading up to and throughout the promotion.

To understand the needs of its customers, Sabre Airline Solutions partners with launch customers to ensure each innovative solution it brings to market through Sabre IntelXchange meets and exceeds customers’ critical business needs. By providing airlines with access to solutions that free them from the data silos of the past, the technology company is ushering the airline industry into an era of truly intelligent data analytics.

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