The corporate travel industry must "wake up" to the type and amount of data buyers require, the ACTE conference in Copenhagen has heard.
Camilla Lagesen, travel manager at technology and solutions supplier Kongsberg Gruppen, described the industry as "old" and in "need of change" and said accurate, clean and instant data is "almost impossible" to get, and called on suppliers to start delivering data faster or risk losing business.
"What I don’t like about the data I receive is it's old and comes from multiple sources," said Lagesen. "If one of my travellers falls out of policy I want to know the next day so I can phone them up and ask the question, not six weeks later.
"How are corporate buyers meant to explain why so many travellers fall out of policy when we can't get up-to-date data, especially when you can have thousands of employees travelling at any one time."
She added: "There needs to be change in the industry as managers are demanding more than we can give them at the moment."
Lagesen was speaking today (October 20) at the ACTE conference in Copenhagen. She was joined in her session on the use of smart data by Edwige Adikpeto, regional travel manager UK and EMEA at professional services firm, Marsh and McLennan Companies, who echoed Lagesen's views.
"At the moment there is a lot of inconsistency when it comes to what data I need, and we don’t know if it's accurate," said Adikpeto. "We must start putting pressure on suppliers to help.
"Airlines now know everything about a passenger – from how many times they fly to their favourite on-flight drink - and so can target them with specific deals. So why can't buyers gain access to this kind of accurate data," Adikpeto added.
Also on the panel was Keesup Choe, CEO of data specialist firm PI, who said TMCs have a role to play in the debate over obtaining accurate and fast traveller data.
"We can get pre-trip data but it's not going to be 100% accurate," said Choe. "We need TMCs to deliver us data in a more timely way. I can't understand why I can't get the total cost of the trip if my traveller has had to change flights a number of times or extended checkout in a hotel.
"We just can't continue to accept this way of working," he added.
ACTE Copenhagen is held at the Bella Sky Comwell hotel from 19-21 October.