November 2010 | Lindsay Clark
Buyers of business travel spend nearly a fifth of their time scrutinising and
reworking performance data to make it
Research from the Institute of Travel& Meetings found travel buyers invest an average of
19 per cent of their day “normalising and consolidating” data to make it
effective for use in measuring the success of business travel programmes.
Buyers consider both internal and external factors, including the
behaviour of colleagues booking travel – such as how long before travelling
that they book – and the performance and prices of an external supplier.
Market research firm Argate helped carry out the survey of travel buyers, responsible for a
combined total of £34 billion spend worldwide. Argate managing director Colin
Goldney said the research showed there was a case for outsourcing data analysis
to save time.
Nearly half the buyers surveyed used internal resources to analyse data while
45 per cent use an external agency, the study showed. It also found that only
43 per cent of buyers use specific, annual, measured targets in supplier
performance review and contract renewal stages.
Paul Tilstone, chief executive of ITM, said: “Clean, effective and complete
data has always been one of the primary goals of our sector. While there are
still clearly some issues with achieving 100 per cent coverage, and buyers are
spending considerable amounts of time working through data, where it is linked
to specific annual targets it clearly influences supplier selection in nearly
half of cases.”