Travel Management Reporting: To Build or to Buy?

Posted by Lehi Mills on Thu, Aug 18, 2011

Lehi Mills

To build or buy… that is the question. A couple of years ago we started looking in the market place for a new management reporting system. We narrowed our search down to four suppliers before rolling our sleeves up and digging in to the functionality of each product. Some products excelled at the standard reports an agency generally sends out. Other products had sleek dashboards you could interact with.

The further we delved into our research, the more we began to notice tiny cracks in the products we were evaluating. Where one product was strong in presenting the information to the end user, the underlying data itself was of no value because of limited data cleaning abilities. You know – Garbage In Garbage Out. No amount of perfume can cover up the smell of bad data.GlobalInsighDashboard CombinedSpend BLOG

Other products had better data aggregation tools and capabilities but were built on older reporting platforms. These weren’t going to provide us the type of scalability our clients were going to need and certainly weren’t going to meet our own internal reporting needs.

From a functionality standpoint, we wanted to replace our current plethora of reporting solutions and have one standard platform that would allow us to do a few simple things:

  1. Schedule reports for automatic generation

  2. Provide interactive dashboards for data analysis, forecasting and trending

  3. Generate ad hoc reports customizable by the end user

  4. Ability to export reports and graphs into Powerpoint for executive meetings

  5. Extensive data warehouse for cleaning and normalizing data

  6. Complex data mining capabilities for those that really love data in the raw

  7. Global reporting capabilities (currency conversion, date formats, language)

  8. Unlimited hierarchy rollup sets with varying authorization levels

  9. Pre-trip reporting as part of the core reporting package

  10. Flight violations and warnings pushed to corporations based on policy requirements

  11. Passenger travel security information coupled with industry alerts and geo-specific travel warnings

  12. Flight delay and cancellation notifications

  13. Global data consolidation from multiple sources including suppliers, credit card companies, travel agencies and T&E providers

  14. Data accuracy scorecards which evaluates the data and intelligently determines how clean and accurate it is

  15. Automated data notification system that can tell when data is due from the suppliers and if it’s delayed notify the supplier their data is delinquent 

Those tiny cracks suddenly became the Grand Canyon. As an agency, we didn’t want to settle for a solution that would get us 60% of the way towards our end goal.

To build or buy… we’re building. And it’s called Global Insight. A business travel management reporting solution that achieves the fifteen features outlined above, yet is built with the scalability that will allow us to meet those unforeseen needs and challenges that tomorrow always throws our way.  

Please click on the link below for a preview of Travizon's Global Insight Reporting platform:

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Tags: Corporate travel management, Travel Management, Travel Technology