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Cirium customers focused on digital strategy as 2021 priority

A recent exclusive customer event, Accelerate, uncovered some recurring themes across airlines, OTAs, airports, solution developers and travel management companies

Access to data and analytics is no longer just a requirement for executives. Travel organizations are realizing the value of continually accessing data and having fluency throughout the entire enterprise.

Cirium brought together many of our customers from airports, airlines, and travel tech providers for honest discussions about the future. The consistent theme: providers are all looking to prioritize more data integration, automation and in some cases, are even considering partnerships to improve their digital infrastructure.

89% of Cirium customers responding to a recent poll said they have prioritized their data strategy.

89% of respondents to Cirium customer poll put data solutions as a priority initiative.

Data is a driver of digital transformation across the enterprise

Data initiatives start with data fluency. Leaders across operations, planning and service functions are all facing new pressures  to break down information silos allowing critical status data to move fluidly. Organizations are achieving more meaningful data sharing when they ensure employees understand and are equipped to make data-driven decisions.

As an example, the traveler experience depends on monitoring flight changes and trip disruption. As planning and forecasting has little to learn from past schedules with the new post-pandemic climate, operational data, both historical and real-time, can provide new insights not previously considered.

The travel industry can look at three areas for heading into 2021 planning and prioritization.

1. Increase visibility and collaboration

Through March and April flight activity came to a halt around the world. Airlines could not reduce schedules fast enough and had to rely on operational cancellations.

With the continued uncertainty facing the industry, more visibility can help improve the speed of decision making.

Configurable visualizations and filtering live reports gives greater control of the variables to take action in a measurable and manageable way. For example, The Cirium Ideas site presents Cirium Core data in different interactive visuals to allow customers to explore the possibilities and develop new questions to then dig deeper into their analysis.

Discover Cirium Ideas

Cirium also produces a weekly update of the impact of the pandemic on aviation. Subscribers commented that this has been “extremely helpful in tracking the market from a commercial perspective” and “very useful for our organization lately to keep a better pulse on the industry and the current events”.

2. Dynamically refine targets

“In the age of uncertainty, data for a business is a security blanket. Data applies to everything and everything creates data. As we see in many industries, those companies that are data-driven are the most competitive.”
– Jim Hetzel, Head Of Product Management – Air Operations, Cirium.

When looking to get more insights from vast amounts of data, many organizations start by choosing the right data based on the business need and the function:

  • Traffic information to understand passenger flow and demand
  • Sales and fare data to measure revenue performance
  • OTP and cancellation data to measure operational reliability

After sorting through having the right data, how can organizations be more effective in actioning insights?

  • Ensure all teams have access to clean and reliable data
  • Create KPIs to address stakeholder questions with the right answers to monitor and predict business outcomes
  • Understand context of the data, what drives the numbers and what actions can be taken to influence them

Aviation lessors and online travel agencies are just some of the organizations developing a new view for business planning from operational disruption intelligence.


3. Remember quality matters

Airlines are responding to the uncertainties in the demand and the rapidly changing government restrictions on travel by keeping their schedules flexible until the last possible moment. This means keeping a constant eye on changes in the schedules (and many airlines report schedules daily to Cirium), but also looking at other sources such as last minute cancellations. The insights needed for forecasting and planning now have to come from additional sources to get the complete picture.

Each time the data changes there is a potential impact to forecast modeling and scenario planning. Ensuring the validity of the change, however small, makes a difference in calculating for schedule adherence or passenger demand by airport.


To get more granular in data modeling, Cirium customers are depending on trend analysis to signal key points of interest, opportunities or potential threats.

For invitations to future speaking opportunities, ensure you’re receiving our newsletter.

If you are a Cirium customer, be sure to ask your account manager for the recording of the Accelerate customer discussion. 

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