The Future Of Airlines Depends On Data

Eva-Maria Roe

Businesses have always depended on data to help fuel their success, but today, the role of data is more vital than ever. In fact, for airlines, data collected from customer experiences, flight statistics, and aircraft health contains actionable insights that can turn into business value.

For years, airlines have focused on collecting data from every angle, and many have since found themselves overwhelmed by the sheer volume of metrics and insights they’ve amassed. Today, the focus is on finding intelligent ways to collect important data – and then analyzing that data in ways that can support key business goals.

To compete in the digital age, airlines are thinking strategically about data and how it can help overcome the challenges they face every day in new, innovative ways.

Meet increasing customer demands with data on hand

While many airlines have turned to social media to receive real-time insight into their customers’ experiences, this provides an overwhelming amount of data that is virtually impossible to sort through on your own. You may have technology that can gather customer feedback from social media posts, but do you have a solution that can aggregate that data to find key trends in the customer experience?

Data feeds intelligent technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Such technologies can find similarities among tweets from your customers, so you can see where the experience you provide goes right – and wrong. For instance, the data may reflect that many of your customers are posting about a lack of accessibility in a certain location. An intelligent solution powered by machine learning would know to flag that trend so you would know to add a ramp or other mobility option in that location.

Not only that, but the right AI- and machine learning-powered applications can help you respond to that feedback. Imagine a solution that could route queries about canceled flights to the right resource based on keywords and specific phrases. How much faster do you think you could respond to time-sensitive customer issues if less-critical customer feedback were sorted out for you?

Boost operational efficiencies with intelligent data analytics

You gather massive amounts of data about the health and maintenance status of your aircraft. But if billions of data points are sitting locked away in lines of text, code, work orders, or notifications, you’re wasting money on maintenance costs and grounded aircraft. Today, modern technology solutions can use aircraft sensor and condition data to prevent machinery failures before they happen, so travelers spend less time waiting on grounded aircraft and repairs.

Ultimately, the right data empowers airlines to do more with less. You don’t need to hire additional resources to make sense of the data you’ve gathered for years – rather, this data can help your current employees work smarter and focus on more value-added tasks. Intelligent technology provides the missing link that you need to make sense of it all.

Intelligent technology from SAP can help you manage your data and create insights that optimize your operations. When you embed and combine intelligent technologies such as AI, machine learning, the Internet of Things, and blockchain, you gain the power to process massive amounts of data. And the ability to tap into, not just gather, data from within your business can differentiate you from your competitors.

To find out more about how SAP solutions are supporting the unique needs of airlines like yours, read the new e-book “The Digital Airlines Industry: Unlocking New Business Value with Intelligent Technologies.”


Eva-Maria Roe

About Eva-Maria Roe

Eva-Maria Roe leads global solution management for the airline industry at SAP. In this role, she is responsible for developing a strategy for the industry, covering a wide area within the SAP portfolio, and working closely with customers and translating their requirements to marketable solutions. She also supports sales opportunities, organizes the SAP Airline Innovation Summit, and speaks at industry events and customer engagements. Her main focus is on defining how technology innovations can become enablers for new processes and business model in the airline industry, helping airlines with digital transformation.