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CASE STUDY - Sabre Takes off with Improved Data Quality: Global Travel Solutions Provider Improves Reliability and Integrity of Its Airport Data Intelligence Solution

Commentary by Darren Rickey, Vice President of Solutions Management, AirVision Marketing and Planning, Sabre Airline Solutions

Sabre Holdings Corporation is a Texas-based company with approximately 9,000 employees worldwide. As a world leader in the travel marketplace, Sabre Holdings offers travel products, distribution, and technology solutions for the travel industry. For example, hundreds of customers depend on Sabre Airport Data Intelligence as an accurate online source of demand and schedule information. Airports and other travel-related entities discover new revenue opportunities by analyzing its advanced booking information.

“We created Sabre Airport Data Intelligence to help clients in the travel industry to confidently study trends over a seven-year period,” said Darren Rickey, vice president of solutions management, AirVision Marketing and Planning, Sabre Airline Solutions. “For example, if an airline wants to open a new route, it will first study the origin and destination (O&D) data to understand the opportunities. Airports use it to perform the same type of new route analysis an airline will, as well as analyze traffic patterns, predict flight capacities, and plan connections.”

Sabre populates Airport Data Intelligence with a global database of O&D data that includes millions of rows of passenger information every month. The value of this information to Sabre, its clients, and the entire travel industry is inestimable. Ultimately, the information in this database impacts the routes, schedules, and even the fares that travelers depend on when they make a trip.

“We run seven to eight million rows per month through the database and commonly do internal audit trending analysis with 25 months worth of data,” explained Rickey.

Sabre devotes a tremendous amount of time and effort to ensuring data quality. Its data quality efforts consisted primarily of focused, targeted analyses based on individual client needs. To automate its data quality efforts and deliver greater accuracy and convenience to customers, Sabre purchased Information Builders’ iWay Data Quality Center (DQC). This unique software solution is designed not only to evaluate, monitor, and manage data quality in many types of information systems, but also to prevent incorrect data from entering these systems in the first place. It includes the Data Profiler, which conducts comprehensive analysis on the data to ensure its integrity and accuracy.

The iWay DQC solution uses bundled administration applications and does not require any external tools or third-party applications. The product ships with ready-to-use data quality modules for creating profiles, reports, and business tasks. Due to the breadth and connectivity of the iWay adapter family, it is easy to integrate iWay DQC with any existing IT infrastructure.

“iWay allows us to take a proactive approach to data quality,” Rickey said. “The objective is to identify and correct discrepancies as the data is loaded so it has been scrubbed, audited, and certified as accurate before customers ever see it. This way, when clients contact us, it’s not to tell us about problems, but to recommend enhancements. iWay Data Quality Center can cleanse many months of data in a fraction of the time of manually issuing SQL queries. One analysis that formerly took 10 hours was completed by iWay in one minute. iWay is smart enough and flexible enough to either find and fix or find and alert us to issues, and it can self-correct problems so it doesn’t hold up a load procedure.”

Because iWay DQC automatically audits its quality control processes, Sabre can share these reports with clients to boost their confidence in the reliability of the Airport Intelligence database. The software helps Sabre create audits and business rules to resolve data discrepancies such as incorrect airport codes, missing revenue figures, and inconsistent or incorrect flight capacity numbers.

“Clients often ask us to gauge the accuracy of the data, and now we can share iWay audit reports with them,” Rickey concluded. “The security that stems from good data quality pays for itself. Our investment in iWay demonstrates our ongoing commitment in this area.”

For a free white paper on this topic from iWay Software, click here and choose the title “Optimizing Data Quality in the Enterprise: How to Tackle Your Bad Information.” For more free white papers, click here.

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