Leakage studies finally move into the digital age

The data behind leakage studies hasn't changed much since we entered this century. Sales data either comes from travel agency location or credit card zip code. Both methods have their issues, but perhaps more importantly, both methods are seeing a steady decline in the validity of their data.

The solution is to migrate to IP-based (internet) location data which offers more accurate, real-time geo-mapping. The problem up until now has been data skewing. Does a zip code with a college student populous get more weighting than a retiree community? Does a business route to Providence get less impact than a Las Vegas leisure route? These problems have now been solved using a unique correction algorithm that ties together travel data, with IP-based geo-mapping, to two other sources, correcting both the size of the zip code's volume and the impact of traffic in the O&D. Utilising DOT DB1B and Census data, combined with travel data, allows for robust correction that improves over time with intelligent learning, spotting recurring errors and making automated corrections to provide logical, fully adjusted results showing a customer's residential location as well as their departure and destination.

This unique algorithm can be utilised to remove the limitations of location data. Traditionally this has been tied to a customer address through their credit card, it can now offer passenger information through their destination. It uses the same methodology, but instead of correcting with Census data, hospitality industry data is used to scale the sample to correct the destination zip code. Whereas previous data highlighted the destination as Nashville, you can know understand how many visitors are staying in Brentwood, Donnelson, or Franklin.

Historic data sources required so much data correction that it was impractical to compare leakage data for different airports. If you wanted to see how much data your airport was leaking, you could purchase a leakage study but to compare it to another airport required a second in-depth study, which quickly became financially prohibitive. This new source is already fully adjusted, providing all airports in the United States comparable data to benchmark against competitors. The 21st Century of Leakage Data is finally here.

Ilona Cambron and Jeremiah Gerald, ASM North America, will be reviewing this intelligent new report in an in-depth session during Routes Americas. To find out more about this market-leading change don’t miss their masterclass session “Seizing the potential of data” on Thursday 15th February at 11:50am or see them on stand HNS10 or get in touch via email.