Innovation in technology is happening faster than ever, and 2018 is no exception. Here are three big trends to look for in 2018 to keep up with the growing importance of big data for your business.

 

Blockchain

A buzz word popping up in the news largely due to its relation to Bitcoin, blockchain is an incorruptible, decentralized way to house information and process transactions. New “blocks” of information are created and added to the chain, creating a transparent, yet secure irrefutable record that synchronize across all users.

Why does it matter to you?

The blockchain makes use of a distributed, multi-peer network coupled with cryptographic techniques to provide a more secure record retention and transaction processing ecosystem. It replaces the function of a standalone third-party database; eliminates the possibility for duplicate transactions; and prevents people from updating past transactions. In other words, this decentralized global platform could impact the way businesses track and process transactions.

Blockchain will impact all business verticals. Early leaders to adopt this technology are supply chain management companies who use blockchain to track the sourcing of components from initial procurement, through assembly, into inventory control and stop with the sales transition. Credit card companies are getting on board with blockchain, allowing merchants to make payments using this technology. Even travel suppliers are embracing blockchain-enabled distribution platforms. As it becomes accepted by the mainstream, blockchain stands to impact business travel. Additionally, blockchain could make it easier for new content distributers to enter the New Distribution Capability (NDC) arena.

Looking to stay on top of this trend for your business? Data Visualization Intelligence (DVI) is ready for blockchain to emerge into any of the data streams used to manage travel, expense or corporate card programs. Blockchain technology will allow DVI to receive data faster, enhance data quality and remove additional third-party hurdles with transmission and receipt.

 

New Distribution Capability (NDC)

NDC is changing the way travel agencies and consumers access airline content. It is an XML-based content distribution standard that allows airlines to maintain control over their inventory. In a traditional model, the global distribution system (GDS) displays airline content for travel agencies to book. As airlines pay a fee to the GDS to include their fares, it’s more profitable for the airline to drive business directly to their individual sites. However, the GDSs rely on the airlines providing full content at the same fare through all avenues. NDC-based connections try to find a compromise, opening the door to non-GDS content aggregators.

Why does it matter to you?

Prior to NDC, customers booking through travel agencies couldn’t always purchase ancillary items (upgraded seats, luggage, etc.) at the same time as their ticket the way they can when booking directly with the airline. With NDC, clients can get these ancillary services through their main booking with the travel management company.

NDC is an exciting change for the travel industry, bringing modern distribution approaches to the travel industry. GDS providers will adapt to NDC and remain leaders in distribution. Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport, key GDS providers, already have made investments in technology not reliant on the traditional mainframe systems, enabling them to access NDC and non-NDC content.

How can you stay on top of this trend in travel? DVI’s Vantage Point product is built for tracking all corporate spend for Travel and Entertainment (T&E) either booked through an agency or not. NDC is another opportunity for the travel consumer to get what they need and for DVI to continue to show corporations how to efficiently manage T&E. Because of NDC, DVI will be able to provide even more insight into what travelers are buying.

 

Machine Learning

Machine Learning (ML) is an advanced type of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that enhances predictive models by finding patterns and adapting to new information by giving computers the ability to learn without being programmed. Machine learning contributes to weather predictions, medical diagnoses and more.

Why does it matter to you?

AI and ML are having a major impact on all business verticals. They are changing the way classes are structured, the music that we listen to, the way search results are presented to the individual and where food is placed in the grocery store. On the travel side, machine learning allows businesses to be more predictive to traveler personalization, and in the near future, it will streamline the procurement process for the entire travel industry.

Machine learning enables companies to respond in real time to customer desires, and in the future, it may even be able to more accurately forecast those trends while reducing costs for a company. As more data becomes available and merged into ML platforms, the value of business travel will become apparent. This could lead the suppliers and corporations into a new era of amenities and benefits for both the leisure and business traveler.

Looking to incorporate machine learning into your business? DVI uses ML in its proprietary data purification process. This process allows DVI to enhance millions and millions of records, providing a single picture of actual T&E spend. The great thing about this approach is with more data, the system becomes smarter. In a traditional approach, more data meant more issues. DVI isn’t hampered by this concern and welcomes all the data it can get its hands on.

 

Each of these items is exciting by itself, but think of the possibilities when they are coupled together. Blockchain will lead to a new level of transaction processing that will further empower the changes brought on by NDC. In turn, this will lead to more interrelated, connected data. The volume of data created by this will crush normal computing systems as we know them today. AI and ML engines will be a requirement to conduct business in the very near future.

Watch as NDC gains momentum this year as all the suppliers in the travel industry come on board. Machine learning will definitely make a splash as more companies see the power available to them. Blockchain is going to take a bit longer to make a major impact as it requires more players to accept the technology for it to work properly. The transaction processing speed needs improvement before it becomes main stream, but our prediction is that it is indeed coming.

Interesting in learning more about how your business can adapt to these data trends? Connect with us on LinkedIn or follow us @DVIbigdata.