Data – Is it all science fiction or really valuable stuff?

We are increasingly surrounded by data from all types of sources and channels. It’s impossible for us to manage all that data, so how do we pick the right data to look at, how do we interpret that data and how much of that data is fact, fiction or intuition? In a short 20 minute session OAG industry advisor John Grant discussed some of the issues and dilemmas we face each day in handling that data during Routes Europe.

Keeping it simple and drilling it as much as possible are two of the best ways airports can use their data to best effect. Giving a talk on the subject at this year’s Routes Europe air service development forum in Kraków, Poland, OAG industry advisor John Grant said data is absolutely vital to any airport wanting to win new airlines over.

We are increasingly surrounded by data from all types of sources and channels. It’s impossible for us to manage all that data, so how do we pick the right data to look at, how do we interpret that data and how much of that data is fact, fiction or intuition? In the short 20 minute session Grant discussed some of the issues and dilemmas we face each day in handling that data.

With 3.8 billion passengers flying in 2015, the equivalent of 6,850 passengers boarding an aircraft every minute of the year, Grant said it is vital that airports learn how best to exploit the data available to them. “Data can be really complex so make it look as simple as possible. The more complex the data; the harder it is to create the story,” he said.

He added many companies fail to get the most out of their data as they use less than a quarter of everything available to them. “Data is a tooth paste tube, the harder you squeeze it then more you get out of it.”

Grant also argued companies shouldn’t be afraid to share data with other companies while if the data looks wrong, it should be questioned as it is not infallible. Both schedules and local demographic data is also important. However, Grant warned forecasting traffic data is of questionable value due to the difficulty of predicting the future.

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