It’s the question on everyone’s mind: How can my organisation become more data-driven? The enormous amounts of data being generated every day, every minute, every second, hold the key to business growth and innovation — but how do we make sense of it all?

“Digital transformation, for me, is all about being data-driven,” says Mattias Karlsson, head of the Business Intelligence Competency Centre (BICC) at Scandinavian Airlines (SAS). “You need to go digital, you need to collect the data and you need to start to gain insights for real.”

SAS knew the answer was analytics. After a period of growth, the company realised it needed a strong analytics partner to support its sales strategy. Since SAS was already roaring down the innovation runway — outfitting all aircraft with WiFi and taking the first steps on an artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning journey — the goal was simple: Cut costs, retain (and improve) operational excellence, and retain (and grow) the number of frequent fliers throughout the project.

To attract Scandinavia’s frequent travellers, SAS knew it would need to offer a great customer experience. SAS had already created a customer data warehouse, which serves as the foundation for the company’s customer relationship management program. By connecting the warehouse to personalisation solutions, the airline could meet the customer digitally at every touch point and every digital channel. And with the right partner in place, things could get under way.

After conducting an in-depth analytics maturity assessment, a reference architecture for a new analytics platform was put into place. And with the partner’s help, analytics capabilities were scaled and deployed.

Now, the company is focussing on greater service through its SAS app, and it’s also exploring greater use of chatbots. And the advanced analytics the company is pursuing will enable SAS to optimise its data and take customer support to the next level.

“We have a lot of insights about our customers, but the exciting thing is what we can do next,” says Christina von Euler, head of Airline Operations Development in the global sales and marketing organization at SAS. “We’re just starting off with personalised communications, but we know there’s so much more we can do in terms of making sure [our customers] have the relevant offer in their channel of choice, looking into the future in terms of personalising the actual journey: how you get to the airport, do you want your meal on board, do you travel with a bag — all of it.”

Learn how Scandinavian Airlines is using data insight to drive long-term loyalty with its customers.