Big Data to predict traveler’s behavior

Interview with Santi Camps, CEO at Mabrian.

It’s fundamental that we can analyze in what way digital transformation influences our organizations, to see exactly in which areas and how it affects them, so we can adapt to this new situation, especially focused on the opportunities it can bring to the business. In this case, we are going to deepen the decision-making based on data……. intelligently treated and interpreted.

We’ve been able to talk with Santi Camps, CEO at Mabrian, a start up that develops the most complete analytical tool for the tourism industry that should allow those organization managers to know not only what’s happening in their destination (and in their competitor’s), but also to “anticipate” and make advantageously competitive decisions.

Santi, could you introduce us Mabrian? Its “core”. What it offers to the tourism sector. Tell us which elements from Mabrian you would highlight in this area.

Mabrian’s Project arises in response to the tourism sector’s current reality, in which major decisions, that entail millionaire investments are often made based on historical data study, partial and not very updated, and with a very high intuition component. Mabrian’s core is to achieve a paradigm shift in the tourism sector: to pass from intuition to the knowledge era.

Of our tool I would highlight the ability to make an enriched analysis of multiple and diverse data sources. A superposition of different information layers that allow us to obtain a global vision and draw connections between them to generate knowledge both current, and predictive.

This development has not been easy, we’ve been developing our own algorithms based on Artificial Intelligence for more than 5 years, and we keep improving them day to day.

More and more companies appear that dedicate to Big Data analysis but, are tourist companies prepared to “digest” so much information?

It’s true that Big Data is something that is fashionable, but often what’s behind this term and the practical utilities of the analytics of large volumes of information isn’t understood.

Tourism companies are increasingly prepared and are more aware of the need to work with data to make their decisions. But in the current phase, it’s essential to offer a tool as simple as possible, that offers only the necessary information and at the right time, and make an intensive accompaniment of these solutions.

What differentiates Mabrian’s platform to other existing analytical tools in the market?

Our great contribution to the sector, is the ability to work with very diverse data sources. We don’t restrict to an active listening on Social Networks, but we overlap data from transactional sources, like flight searches and bookings, flight and hotel prices, tourist’s spend in destination, as well as online behavior derived from the activity in social media and opinion portals.

With this we provide a very enriched analysis that offers a global strategic vision of the environment and the market. It has also allowed us to develop a predictive model that allow us to anticipate trends up to one year in advance.

“Can” you really predict the future with Mabrian?

There is a direct relation between what users spontaneously say in their social networks and how the long-term demand will evolve. Also, we can reinforce these predictions with search and flight booking patterns and trends globally, as well as other indicators.

You mean, for example, that you “could” already anticipate which destinations will be successful in 2019’s season?

We have already detected and analyzed trends at long-term. And yes. Clear dynamics are identified. We already predicted Iceland and Thailand’s boom in 2015, or North African destinations’ recovery in 2017. Through data, not intuition.

Any scoop?

Globally, for example, we can anticipate that Greece will be a clearly rising destination for the Spanish market, and that it will grow during 2019 if circumstances don’t change.

Have the latest controversies regarding Facebook and the treatment of user’s data affected you?

Not directly, since our platform isn’t fed with Facebook data, most specially because of the type of filtering they make of them. But undoubtedly it has indirectly affected us, since all companies that trade with data have begun to take more stringent measures to control the use that is made of this same data. And we think it’s something very important. Our providers’ reliability and legality is key in our business.

Then, will you be in line with the new GDPR law?

We don’t store user’s personal data, since our suppliers serve them to us already “anonymized and aggregated”. Still, we monitor closely that these respect the regulations, because we understand that it´s vital for the correct development of our industry.

Every day more data is generated. Is it really the XXI century oil?

Data are an inexhaustible resource, and with an exponential growth. But the most important is not to have data, but to be able to correctly select, analyze and interpret that data to turn them into knowledge. Data itself, are worthless, and misinterpreted can even be counterproductive. The “oil” is only valuable if there´s an engine able to exploit it and generate movement.


Enric López C., EU CETT-UB


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