Invoice Search

A big time saver for customers is our invoice search feature. It allows them to look up and download a copy of an invoice issued by the Travel Manager.

To access the feature, click the Search link at the bottom of the slider menu within any Travel Analytics dashboard.

When the link is clicked, a search box opens allowing them to enter details of the invoice they require.  Clicking the search button, opens another window providing a list of invoices that fall within the criteria entered in the previous screen.

To download the invoice, the user simply clicks on the invoice number (link) and it will automatically start to download.

The invoice is a recreation (copy) of the original invoice issued by the Travel Manager. The invoice is ATO compliant, and comes complete with details of the charges and any references the customer uses to track the invoice internally.

Carbon Emission Reporting

Air travel carbon emission reporting is now available to customers with access to the Air Segments dashboard in a downloadable Excel report.  CO2 emissions are shown in kilograms for each flight (or segment) which we calculate using methodology published by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and data sourced from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The starting point for calculating emissions is to calculate the circle distance between the city pairs (segments) provided by the Travel Managers in their air segment data.  Segments are then split into three categories: short, less than 550 km; mid, between 550 and 5500 kms; and long haul, greater than 5500 kms.  These categories are used to calculate fuel consumption, as fuel burn ratios are much higher on shorter flights than longer ones.

Extract of the Excel download displaying carbon emission data for individual flight segments

We also factor in a difference between economy and premium class travel for mid and long haul flights but not short haul, as most short duration flights  operate the one class (economy).  Finally, we factor in passenger load data published annually by IATA, however, we do not take into consideration the type of aircraft, as in most cases, the data.

Budget Tracking

The ability to track spend against a travel budget has been around for some time in Travel Analytics.  However, the feature was virtually unknown to most users, due to the complexity of setting it up in the system.

Fortunately, the introduction of Report Hierarchy has simplified the set up, providing customers the opportunity to take advantage of this great feature.

To activate budget tracking, administrators only need to add a figure in the budget column against each cost centre when they are setting up or modifying the customers report hierarchy.

To view the results, users simply navigate to the cost centre dashboard and the data is displayed within the headlines.  It’s pretty easy to determine how budgets are tracking; if the spend is within budget, the amount is shown in black, and if it’s over, it displays in red.

Cost Centre dashboard displaying Budget data

Adjusting the dates on the dashboard, will display a prorated amount for that period.  And using the region and division filters, allows users to drill down to determine how different areas of the business are tracking against budget.

International Destinations

When you select ‘International’ from the trip type filter on the Air Segments dashboard, the chart in the top left of the dashboard displays the number of trips – or stopovers (if we use industry jargon) – within a country i.e. USA, China, United Kingdom etc.

Number of trips displayed by Country

And if you click on the individual countries displayed in the chart, a list of cities (destinations) will appear.

Number of trips displayed by Destination (drill down from the previous display)

The question is how do we determine a destination or stopover?  We use the recognised industry (IATA) standard; any break in a journey for longer than 24 hours is regarded as a stopover.

Fortunately for us, the air segment data we receive from the Travel Managers makes it easy to calculate a stopover, as they provide us the date, arrival and departure times of each segment within the itinerary.  This allows us to calculate the order the flights to determine if the traveller spent longer than 24 hours at a destination.

So when your travel insurance premium is up for renewal, simply log into Travel Analytics and navigate to the Air Segments dashboard, and all the information you need on the number of trips to countries throughout the world is there at your fingertips.

Report Hierarchy

Arguably, Report Hierarchy was the most important enhancement Travel Anaytics deployed in 2016.  In a nutshell, Report Hierarchy allows administrators to download, amend and reload a new organisational structure (report hierarchy) for their data within a matter of minutes.

The functionality is a vast improvement on the traditional method of maintaining report hierarchy, which involves the Travel Manager updating individual traveller profiles within the mid office, reservation and online booking systems.  A process that often takes days, if not weeks to complete.

While the reduction in time and effort are substantial, so to are the improvements in the accuracy of the data presented to the customer.

Often travellers will travel across multiple cost centres belonging to different parts of the organisation.  Traditional travel management systems find it difficult to deal with this, as the traveller profile is linked to a static hierarchy and any variations cannot be matched to the correct structure.

Report Hierarchy turns this issue on its head, as the functionality automatically associates the correct organisational structure to the cost centre entered at the time of booking.

During development, we experimented with customer data with a little over 1500 cost centres, which over two-thirds were duplicates, obsolete, incorrectly entered or missing.  When it gets to this stage, the data becomes unless, forcing customers to manually download and correct the data to make sense of it.

Using Report Hierarchy we were able to download the existing data, remove the duplicates, merge obsolete data, correct mistakes and format the data into the correct hierarchy using the cost centre as a reference point.

Extract from the file used to upload an updated Report Hierarchy. In this example, we are splitting the cost centre to display the number as a code and the abbreviated name as the full name.

Therefore in matter of minutes, data is transformed from being almost unusable to highly structured reports, where little or no manual manipulation is required to get the information the customer needs.

However, cleaning up the data is the first part of the process.  The second part, and more important, is programming the system to identify and clean up rogue data when we import it.  We do this using aisles – you send me ‘HR Head Office’ and I am going to call it ‘Human Resources’.  What’s great about aisles, once it’s corrected, any subsequent errors are updated automatically.

Welcome to Travel Analytics

Welcome to Travel Analytics.  We are into our third year of existence, and we thought it was time to create a blog for our rapidly expanding customer base.

And we have plenty to talk about, including: functionality updates, dashboards enhancements, improved code and queries, API integrations, customer data integrations, and plenty tips on how to get the most out of Travel Analytics.

So to keep up to date with the latest, subscribe to the blog and new posts will be sent straight to your inbox as they are published.

Enjoy the blog!