< PrevNext > Applying Predictive Analysis to Disruptions, Budgets & Traveler Burnout By tClara CEO Scott Gillespie / February 16, 2016 Share Scott Gillespie, CEO, tClara Meet Terry, the most important persona in the corporate travel industry. Terry is not the travel manager. Instead, Terry represents all those executives who own and manage travel budgets. Manage, as in neck-on-the-line accountability for meeting cost budgets while keeping travelers safe and productive.The corporate travel industry can predict three things for Terry. They are things Terry will pay for because they add significant value to Terry’s line of business.Service: Managing Distruptions – Think of the economic waste associated with disrupted business trips. The extra travel costs can pale next to the lost productivity and damaged and delayed business opportunities. Fortunately, the large travel management companies are investing in their abilities to predict trip disruptions. These seem focused on the day of travel, which is a good start.In 2016, look for these services to be offered as part of the TMC value proposition. Terry’s travelers will get proactive and prioritized service, helping them finish the trip with less stress. In future years, look for travel predictions to be wired into CRM tools, with virtual agents working behind the scenes to re-schedule business meetings for everyone involved in the trip, days in advance—not just on the day of travel.Savings: Manage Budgets – Like all managers, Terry wants to get a solid return from his travel budget and not worry about explaining a big year-end budget overrun.This year, look for baby-step integration between travel mamagement company bookings and their predicted total cost of travel impact on corporate budgets. Think travel expense forecasts versus remaining budget, much like what we see in sales and cost of goods forecasts. In the future, look for predictions that produce recommended changes in travel budgets, geared to improve the bottom-line results for Terry’s line of business.Human Element: Mitigating Burnout – Give Terry the choice of burning through his travel budget or burning out some of his most valued road warriors. I bet Terry would rather break his budget. That’s how valuable road warriors are. It may not be an easy choice, which is what makes predictive service so valuable.You’ll see talent-sensitive firms this year begin to predict which of their road warriors are at risk of burning out on travel. Travel managers can help Terry intervene with less travel or more convenient or comfortable travel, whatever his budget and business can handle.In coming years, look for systems that monitor road warriors for a variety of predicted risks, mainly around engagement and retention. These systems will alert Terry, HR and the travel manager to the risks and predict the best options for reducing them.The race for predictive analytics in the travel industry is on. I’ll bet we’ll see some great strides in 2016 and the years to come.