RESEARCH & RESOURCES

CASE STUDY - Alaska Air Group Soars in Meeting the Needs of More than 17 Million Customers Annually

Alaska Air

Commentary by Alaska Air Group
The Challenge

For 74 years, Alaska Air Group has been providing world-class domestic airline service. Understanding and responding to customer needs is key to its success in the increasingly competitive airline industry, where margins are small and customer loyalty is prized. The problem was not lack of data, but rather a wealth of it residing in disparate legacy systems. Alaska Air Group had data tracking customer behavior, but it was utilized in silos throughout the company. The existing systems lacked the ability to analyze data from the various sources to fully understand customer trends and purchasing behavior. Without a robust business intelligence solution, the customer tracking consisted primarily of examining lagging indicators, such as miles flown or dollars spent, rather than gaining an understanding of each customer’s needs.

Overview

Industry

Travel and Transportation

Oracle Product

Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition

Key Benefits
  • Drive business process improvement based on pervasive insight
  • Better understanding of customer behavior and needs
  • Drive strategic actions based on deep customer insight
  • Scalable for users and data loads

Prior to looking for a solution, Alaska Air Group looked at their customer data across the enterprise and at gaps in the process. One of those gaps was in accurate and timely information being made available to executives for strategic planning purposes and to the tactical teams for executing to the strategic objectives. Alaska Air Group realized that what was needed was in-depth and timely analytical information that would allow a more strategic approach to addressing the needs of their customers.

Choosing a Solution

When Alaska Air Group defined the project, the focus was on understanding the customer’s value chain, the information needed, identifying sources of data, and then finding a solution that would enable them to gain relevant, actionable insight from all these data sources—not just information that would be an aggregate, but something that would add value to their business process. Of the four solutions evaluated, Oracle BI Suite Enterprise Edition fit these requirements perfectly—it was the right solution, at the right price, with the right sophistication, yet very easy to use. Best of all, it only took about six weeks to implement and begin realizing this solution’s benefits.

Improved Customer Loyalty

Loyalty is an indicator of how well a customer is being served, and includes measures like recent travel, frequency of travel, money spent, frequent flyer membership, and total mileage flown. In the past, it was difficult to get a clear picture of the factors that affect loyalty. With Oracle BI Suite, Alaska Air Group not only better understands the factors that affect loyalty, but also can get actionable, guided analytics to help improve it.

Relevant Customer Experience

Alaska Air Group continuously strives to provide a highly relevant experience for each customer. Providing a relevant experience to millions of flyers in numerous demographics is difficult. With Oracle BI Suite, the group can now combine their customer interaction with the demographic data to provide the right promotion at the right time to the right person.

Improved Business Operations

Oracle BI Suite is enabling Alaska Air Group to make more strategic marketing campaigns possible. For example, they have started analyzing the reasons for seasonal “soft” markets and creating target offers to proactively offset them, as well as improving business processes by analyzing and understanding the correlation between business operations and customer initiatives.

A Solid ROI

With Oracle BI Suite, Alaska Air Group is able to gain a better understanding of the needs of its 17 million flyers. The goal was to integrate data across the enterprise, but what the solution is truly doing is driving organizational change from the bottom up. People are starting to realize that there are causes and effects between every element of a business, and this is helping in breaking down those silos within the organization. Thanks to a forward-thinking and progressive approach, Alaska Airlines is able to gain competitive advantage by driving actions, decisions, and business process improvements with deep customer insight.

This article originally appeared in the issue of .

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