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How SMART Data transforms travel programmes

Over 40% of travel buyers are expecting their travel budgets to increase in 2020, according to recent research conducted by Business Travel Show1. But with only 55% of travel programmes utilising expense data to inform their travel policy2, how can travel managers ensure their larger budgets are being delegated efficiently and effectively?

Big Data, Data Analytics, or in our case, CTM SMART Data, consists of large volumes of data which is analysed and presented to you to reveal key trends and patterns.

It gives companies the opportunity to delve deep into their travel reporting to not only identify large areas of spend, but to provide recommendations and in-depth solutions for better spend management. It’s a step-up from traditional, passive data interpretations and a step towards strategic decision making based on predictive analytics.

In other words, it allows us to become ‘data storytellers’.

To explain, CTM’s Head of Business Intelligence, Kevin Petre, gives four examples of how travel managers can optimise reporting data to transform their travel programme.

Travel reporting

1. More Strategic Supplier Negotiations

Traditionally, supplier negotiations take place on an annual or bi-annual basis and involve discounting the average fare based on the previous year’s volume. SMART Data instead allows travel managers to look ahead, with predictive forecasting and travel trend analysis to easily identify future booking behaviours. It draws information from multiple sources (GDS and partner agencies), giving travel managers complete visibility of programme spend. This can be shared with preferred suppliers to negotiate more accurate rates.

“As a travel manager, you can monitor the spend for certain carriers. Once a spend threshold is surpassed, it’s time to renegotiate fares to your business’ advantage.”

You can also assess each airline’s average selling price (ASP) for specific routes and class types.

As a bonus, CTM SMART Data is configured for global businesses, acting as a single, global reporting hub for multi-region travel programmes. Travel managers can leverage this information to negotiate supplier deals on a global scale.

2. Encouraging Sustainable Travel

Arguably one of the biggest trends to influence business travel in 2020, is the push for more sustainable experiences. Clients are facing continual pressure to reduce their environmental impact, and as a result, have become increasingly concerned with monitoring their travel habits. In response, CTM SMART Data provides multi-level reporting on carbon emissions. There is also the ability to calculate carbon offsetting, and an opportunity to work with CTM’s sustainability solutions provider to offset emissions.

“We’re providing more than just stock-standard carbon reporting. Clients can drill down into the specifics of their footprint, measuring the difference between cabin class, route, transport method and more.”

3. KPI tracking


Company travel can be considered one of the largest expenditures for businesses. Therefore, setting and tracking specific KPIs to support your overall business plan is essential when demonstrating the success of your travel programme.

SMART Data can be useful in understanding employee behaviour and why exceptions are occurring. It offers an opportunity to set and track KPIs to increase policy compliance, such as limiting business class to certain distances or routes and reducing environmental impact.

Another example is improving hotel compliance. Hotel spend offers the biggest opportunity for savings with supplier negotiations but is often overlooked. CTM’s SMART Data provides accurate hotel information, allowing travel managers to benchmark against previous months and strive for improved future rates.

Furthermore, reducing spend on certain routes can be resolved through traveller tracking information. By reviewing past, present and future traveller movements, companies can avoid unnecessary transport costs by leveraging travellers on confirmed trips to pick up packages in an area they are travelling, support a local meeting or dropping by to see a client nearby.

4. Enhancing User Experience

Contrary to popular belief, in-depth data analysis doesn’t need to be overwhelming. CTM’s SMART Data is presented through customisable dashboard reports, which show easily digestible information across a full range of travel spend and behaviour. This allows even the biggest opposer of data analytics to visualise and dissect complex data in a single click.

“We wanted to provide advance data reporting in a way that our customers were actually going to use it. The only way data can be truly effective is if it’s understood.”

The reports can be customised for different authority levels within the business, which means relevant data is readily available for those who need it.

“The ability to drill down precisely to which department, cost centre and even traveller type (staff or guest) is what puts CTM SMART Data ahead of the curve.”

“We listen closely to customer requests, and because of that, we can provide the best tools to help them optimise their travel programme.”


Data Analytics, CTM SMART Data. Whatever you call it, you know it’s having a huge impact on how we manage our travel programmes in 2020 and beyond.

At CTM, we believe that better insights lead to better business travel. That’s why we’ve made some recent updates to our reporting capabilities.

For more information, contact CTM via the form below.


Request a demo of CTM’s SMART Technology today:

Contact our team today.