BTN Europe presents an overview of business travel and MICE predictions for this year
Virtual Event - 1 October 2020
ExCeL London - 22-23 June 2021
A new data-led role for travel managers could see them double their current pay levels in just two years, according to Data Exchange managing director Susan Hopley.
Hopley was speaking to delegates at the ACTE forum in London. She said the evolving role of a “travel director” encompasses implementing and managing new traveller mobile technologies and demonstrating relative ROI on comparative booking platforms.
The role will involve managing costs as part of sales budgets and overall corporate profitability. The travel directors of 2014 will be “data scientists” skilled in analytics, advanced reporting graphics and leveraging the value of corporate-held data. She cited reports by the the McKinsey Global Institute which showed the expanded role and new skill-sets meant travel buyers will command double current average salaries.
“We are on the cusp of change,” said Hopley. She also pointed out that data graphics have not changed since William Playfair pioneered the bar, line and pie charts in the 1780s. Urging delegates to adopt new reporting methodology, she said: “With all the information available to us, we can’t survive on Will Playfair graphs.”
Hopley quoted Microsoft research boss Craig Mundie boss, saying “data is becoming the new raw material of business,” and she said travel managers should drive initiatives to make revenue from their data. She shared more McKinsey research which showed data as having a $1 trillion global annual value, with more than $40 billion of that within the travel industry. New ways of utilizing data as a commodity meant de-identified data could be pooled, with new revenue available to those corporations selling it.
Summing up the ongoing and imminent changes to the travel management model, she quoted Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: “There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.”
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