< PrevNext > Data Aggregation Will Drive Travel Risk Management By Concur president Mike Eberhard / 29 January 2018 Share Geopolitical uncertainties and natural disasters in destinations normally deemed safe will keep risk management top of mind for travel managers in 2018. Meanwhile, business leaders are grappling with how to ensure the safety of their business travelers through comprehensive duty of care programs. I share this concern with executives around the world, and I believe the answer to keeping travelers safe lies in a more sophisticated approach to handling their data.Travel data is only valuable when it is accessible, accurate and comprehensive. Companies have had trouble using data for travel risk management in the past, largely because it is disparate and disconnected. Today, business travel data is spread among numerous channels: corporate credit cards, personal credit cards, online booking tools, supplier-direct sites and more. When gaps in data exist, companies lack complete and accurate pictures. Technology can bridge those gaps. Cloud computing has made it easier to access and aggregate information in real time. Developers have created application programming interfaces that allow disparate systems to talk to each other, bringing data sources together. In 2018, businesses will build on these advancements to improve travel risk management services and ensure duty of care. Three strategies will drive this result:Cross-functional strategies for travel risk management: Duty of care extends beyond the corporate travel department into HR, legal, security and more. In addition to working more closely with these teams, travel managers will integrate HR data, corporate card data and digital receipts with travel data. Real-time, multidata sources will enable companies to pinpoint and communicate with employees in emergencies. Continuous automated data capture and aggregation will remove security gaps caused by old data and/or heavy reliance on the traveler to take action. Consumer-friendly tools: Employees expect seamless experiences across all their technology applications, both consumer and enterprise. In the coming year, companies will prioritize the traveler experience and choose tools that employees will love to use. Improved compliance will lead to more comprehensive travel data and greater visibility.Accepting and aggregating out-of-channel bookings: The sharing economy and proliferation of booking and purchase options at employees’ fingertips has made it impossible to impose rigid travel policies and ignore out-of-channel bookings. Companies will embrace more open travel policies that provide travelers flexibility and options, while also employing methods to capture off-channel data.Deploying these strategies will give businesses accurate, real-time insights to ensure employees are safe wherever they travel.