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GBTA Foundation reveals results of latest "Travel Managers’ Data Needs and Challenges” study

Asia Pacific companies appear to be more successful than their European counterparts in utilizing data 

The majority of Travel Managers in Asia Pacific (61 percent), believe their organization is successful in utilizing travel data for decision making, such as evaluating compliance and vendor selection, which can lead to cost saving solutions. A new study by the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), also found - in contrast - that only about 40 percent of Travel Managers in Europe felt the same way.


The study, “Travel Managers’ Data Needs and Challenges,” sponsored by Diners Club International, surveyed more than 300 Asia-Pacific and European Travel Managers to better understand the data Travel Managers use to make decisions regarding their travel programs. The study also looked at whether the data currently available to them meets their needs and whether there is room for improvement.
 


“Data has become an integral part of our daily lives and can be an extremely valuable resource to help Travel Managers make smarter decisions for their company and colleagues,” said GBTA Vice President of Research Joseph Bates.

“We’re already seeing data affect vendor selection and assist in negotiating rates, with the potential for even more benefits in the near future.”
 


Approximately 80 percent of Travel Managers in Asia Pacific believe they know how to best maximize data and turn data into action as well as using it to identify the most cost effective and best options when booking travel. Roughly 70 percent of Travel Managers in Europe felt the same way.
 


Additional key highlights of the report’s findings:
 
• Corporate card programs and Corporate Travel Accounts are the top two forms of payment for business travel and meetings-related expenses in both Asia Pacific (61 percent and 49 percent, respectively) and Europe (70 percent and 73 percent, respectively). Both groups say they find the data to be highly useful.
 
• In several cases, respondents in Asia Pacific felt they were twice as effective as their European counterparts in utilizing travel data from corporate card programs and Corporate Travel Accounts. For example, Asia Pacific Travel Managers use travel data from Corporate Travel Accounts for reconciliation (74 percent), budget purposes (67 percent) and managing risk and traveler safety (44 percent) . In contrast, only about one-quarter  of Travel Managers in Europe use data for reconciliation, approximately 30 percent use data for budget purposes and 20 percent use it for managing risk and traveler safety.
 
• Extracting data from expense management systems is another useful source of data for Travel Managers. Usage is similar to corporate card and Corporate Travel Accounts. Total airline and hotel spend top the list of data metrics gathered as 75 percent or more of travel managers say they collect these metrics. 
 
• Most companies have not consolidated their travel data from multiple data sources (49 percent in Asia Pacific and 59 percent in Europe). Consolidating data serves as an area for opportunity for Travel Managers in both regions to minimize the challenges of working with multiple sources and formats and out-of-date information.

 
“Travel managers are continuously searching for ways in which to drive down costs, increase compliance, improve efficiencies and more. The more robust and accurate data they are provided, the greater their success in these efforts,” says Ricardo Leite, Vice President of Global Commercial Payments with Diners Club International, sponsor of the research study.  “Capturing this valuable data and providing a clear view into the essential elements of any travel program is critical.”

The GBTA Foundation and Diners Club International will also hold webinars on February 12 at 9pm EST and February 19 at 9am EST. Registration will open in January.

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