The value of AI-driven data in the travel industry ecosystem will rise in 2020

travel industry landscape

Whether or not air and rail companies have ever thought of the data they collect as an “ecosystem,” they have long shared data — from security information to passenger itinerary data — with affiliated travel authorities and companies to smooth the traveler experience and improve the ability of the workforce to respond.

In the coming months, the value of that ecosystem is about to rise to another level.

The increasing value of data in the ecosystem – made even more potent by AI – is one of the top five trends expected to affect the workplace, according to 2020 Technology Trends and the Future of Work. For the travel industry, the growing value of data in the travel industry ecosystem is a trend that stands out.

Data-driven MRO

Travel and transportation organizations – airlines, passenger rail, mass transit, freight & logistics and ports – rely on maintenance, repair and overhaul operations (MRO), as well as Enterprise Asset Management (EAM), to keep billions of dollars of assets in service, but the systems they’ve relied on in the past haven’t been able to keep up with their evolving needs. That’s changing.

Data-driven, digital MRO systems that feed information and status updates into the broader company ecosystem will help employees make agile equipment and staffing decisions. This will enable workers in the maintenance facilities to predict with greater accuracy when service is required, improving asset and staff utilization and reducing the potential for expensive equipment-related delays.

New MRO systems are evolving from predictive maintenance to self-sensing. The next step we’ll start to see is self-repairing components, such as engines.

Data will boost the value of ecosystems further

AI systems require large amounts of data in order to make meaningful recommendations.  While one company may not have enough data, an ecosystem of shared data between companies can provide much larger amounts of data. This will allow enterprises to share collected data in order to provide better analytics and recommendations using AI.  For example, airlines can share sources of parts and their experiences with suppliers — such as the quality of a part and delivery time – with each other.  This will enable the organizations to obtain much needed parts faster.  This shared information results in improved efficiency of the ecosystem, as airlines depend on each other for connections and cancellations.

Workplace impact

Data will fundamentally change the workplace.  Human knowledge and experience is now codified in systems. This is like having Google available to complete your tasks.  As computers become more capable of performing rote tasks, humans are freed to focus on cognitive and creative tasks, and this in turn will increase the value of the employee.

The impact of AI and data-driven technology on the travel and transportation industry ecosystem over the coming months and years won’t always be directly observable, but its effect will be noticeable. Improved asset utilization, fewer equipment-related delays and expenses, and a smoother end-to-end customer travel experience are just a few of the benefits that passenger rail, mass transit organizations and airlines can expect to deliver in the very near future.

Ash Kumar HeadshotAsh Kumar was a Chief Technologist in the Travel, Transportation & Hospitality industry with over 20 years of experience applying technology solutions to solve business problems for clients.

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