Singapore-based A*STAR, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, has developed software that taps into data accumulated from mobile devices, with an emphasis on reducing look-to-book ratios.
The software was created by a division within A*STAR known as the Data Storage Institute. DSI calls itself a "vital node in a global community of knowledge generation and innovation," and operates as an R&D facility for next gen storage technologies.
What this means is that the tourism sector will be able to mine the data of actual users looking and browsing through travel sites, and see what impacts their bookings - what is known as the "look-to-book ratio," ie. how many people who look actually book a hotel, tour, flight or other travel product.
Travel brands are already employing many techniques to reduce their look-to-book ratios, from live chats with agents to multimedia rich content to price bidding, all in an effort to increase bookings among those who are already in browse mode.
Potential holidaymakers browse dozens of websites in the trip planning and research phase, leaving behind reams of data that can be parsed to gain information about what triggers an actual booking. By making this data set available to hotels and other travel brands, DSI hopes to inform more accurate and intelligent business decisions.
From a recent release:
A technology development study conducted by DSI researchers found that a significant amount of transactional data exchanges on travel booking and reservation information were duplicates.
Based on this finding, DSI researchers designed an intelligent software that operates on in-memory compute grid technology, smart cache mechanisms, context-aware algorithms and commodity servers to enable reduction of workloads, quick searches and interpretation of large pools of data collected which are indexed based on time-stamps.
By employing the agency's bleeding edge technology, DSI is able to process real-time travel data at a rate of 500 transactions per second. The core data that informs the algorithms are "designed to help online travel players achieve a significantly lower look-to-book ratio by using data management features to intelligently cache information requests."
DSI is partnering with 5 hotels and Fujitsu for this pilot program, which will be powered on Fujitsu's Global Cloud Platform.
Dr Pantelis Alexopoulos, DSI's Executive Director:
"DSI’s technology has turned today’s big data challenges into opportunities, enabling companies to gain a competitive edge by helping them extract valuable insights from the avalanche of information created by mobile devices.
"Our successful partnerships with key industry players in the travel sector have demonstrated the software’s ability to capitalise on big data and improve sales through accurate operational intelligence. We are currently exploring new capabilities to benefit more industries as they boost efforts to drive productivity and innovation."
The DSI research team has filed a US Provisional Application on managing travel data transactions to optimize look-to-book ratios - it's super-geek stuff, but sounds promising despite the complicated concept!
NB: Drive image courtesy of Shutterstock