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Discerning Business ROI for Malaysian Airlines BDA Investment.
September 7, 2018 Blog data analytics


By Ravikumar Krishnan

It isn’t a secret that for the past couple of years, Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has always been in the news for “not so good” reasons. Reduced profitability due to the entry of aggressive low-cost carriers has changed market dynamics subversively. Despite all the problems they faced, the confidence MAS had to solve all of them using a data-driven approach, is to be applauded. Praiseworthy indeed. Eventually it did enhance the CX (Customer Experience) and took them on the positive path to return profitable.

From a data-driven approach, this is called a ‘gift of looking “inwards”’ tactic. For huge conglomerates like MAS, it is inevitable that data is everywhere; whether or not in silos, all of the data resides under the massive MAS umbrella.

A little bird told me that the IT team initially had to wait 48 hours to access data. However, using the data-driven approach, they have significantly reduced that to 2 hours. The problem was systematically tackled by streamlining all data processing exercises to a cloud platform and adding a data analytics layer able to handle structured, unstructured, or any data access obstacles.

A layer of data analytics powered by Qubole, reduced the data ingestion time by 90% and eventually improved the business-facing personnel’s data access time, from 6 hours to 20 minutes. This is an impressive feat. MAS became able to discern the business ROI quantitatively and at the same time, respond to the swift change requirements in CX, ultimately increasing profitability.

The “inward” looking tactic also enabled MAS to reap the reward by increasing cross-departmental availability of data. All key business stakeholders are now able to do just-in-time (JIT) marketing campaigns, taking immediate action based on analysing past purchasing trends and travel routes with a snap of the fingers. The ability to share the right message with consumers at the right time is the core essence of JIT marketing. Analysis suggests that organisations that are able to realise JIT marketing can be capable of growing their annual revenues by more than 25%.

On a cost saving note, the improved quick delivery of analytical data using Qubole, saved time and resource on data related activities. That in itself is a hard cost saving even before assessing the other cost savings that can be realised by redeploying staff time on other activities.

It’s really great to see an established and traditional businesses like MAS improve their position in the market by believing in a BDA culture. Their inward-looking tactic to improve their ailing financial situation and CX is definitely a zen of digital transformation.  You can read more about it here.