Big Data Can Transform the Travel Industry

Published Dec-10-18

A novel screening model to predict when passengers will arrive at Dublin Airport security.

Dublin Airport, Ireland

The Story:

Big Data Can Transform the Travel Industry Big data is everywhere, a powerful tool that is one of today's most promising new technologies. It can lead to substantial breakthroughs, helping businesses and all manner of organizations to accomplish new things such as:

Creating new products and services
Streamlining processes
Creating new revenue streams
Reducing operating costs
Offering greater insights
Making our cities smarter
And much more

Seizing the potential of big data depends on smart brains leveraging it in new and interesting ways. To tap into some of that crowd wisdom the travel industry called on coders, data experts and others to take part in the 2016 Travel Meets Big Data Hackathon.

Big Data and the Travel Industry

"The travel industry is facing increasing challenges in an age where customers are taking ownership of their travel plans. The industry needs to begin to use big data to their advantage," said Silviu Preoteasa, CEO of BUILD Challenge. BUILD is a European series of technology events to enable innovation and foster the creation of commercially viable ideas in numerous industries.

This big data innovation event was hosted by Dublin Airport and by Hostelworld, a hostel-focused online booking platform. They challenged participants to come up with an efficient security screening system for Dublin Airport and a recommendation engine for users of Hostelworld. In addition to the hackathon there were also workshops and talks by a roster of expert speakers.

New Screening Model

The overall winner was Barry Scott and Caroline Kirrane, a married couple from Dublin. They won for a model that analyzes passenger profiles to predict when they will arrive at Dublin airport security ahead of their flight.

"Taking something like creating an efficient security screening system at Dublin Airport has a positive impact on customers using the facility as well as for the daa [previously Dublin Airport Authority] who are running it and making every effort to make the process more efficient," continued Silviu Preoteasa.

Breakthrough Thinking

The hackathon organizers did not say whether they will incorporate the winning idea into their systems but as with some of the other concepts conceived at the event, it could help inform airport authorities as they strive to improve the passenger experience and enhance safety.

Hackathons are all about generating big ideas and solving problems. They focus the mind on a specific challenge for a set length of time. Even if the end result is not a prototype that's good to go they often generate fascinating concepts that become the foundations for breakthrough innovations.

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