The success of an airline operations dashboard is tightly linked to connected data sources. Nowadays, almost every airline possesses a vast amount of data. Data about aircraft, ground and flight processes, maintenance, passengers, and many more.
Initial focus of airline operations dashboard is on internal data
When airlines start to set up an airline operations dashboard, the approach strongly focus on these internal information. And that makes sense since the most critical KPIs rely —and can be calculated— based on your internal data.
However, once a dashboard is up-and-running usually a process is initiated that aims for further information-enrichment. Very often airlines continue to concentrate on internal information — which isn’t wrong.
External data can massively add value to an airline operations dashboard
Nevertheless, it is often overseen that external information can be of great benefit. Especially in order to provide a comprehensive situational awareness.
With this blog post, we want to introduce four essential external data sources you should integrate into your airline operations KPI dashboard.
There are only a few other industries that depend and rely on weather as much as the aviation industry does. Especially when it comes to medium and long-haul operations, the importance of accurate weather information cannot be underestimated.
Since there are many providers for weather data (METAR, TAF), it is relatively easy to integrate this kind of information. The challenge we observed is in translating the information (METAR and TAF are quite cryptic for many people). That’s why we put a lot of effort into visualizing the text-based information.
Additionally, in order to avoid an information overflow, it makes sense to pay attention to highlighting specific aspects (exceptional winds, clouds, thunderstorms, etc.) Below you can see an example of how translated and visualized weather information in the context of the A:Wall look.
An important aspect to mention: Integrating weather shouldn’t be only about current weather but especially about forecast values.
Airport information (especially NOTAMS) are pretty similar to weather information. It is relatively easy to integrate this kind of information. But again, the challenge is in interpreting NOTAMS and visualizing the information.
Most of the NOTAMS that are published by airports have only a small relevance to your operations. That means the challenging task is in filtering NOTAMS, assessing NOTAMS, and finally only visualizing those NOTAMS that impact your operations.
Social Media Information
I had so many discussions with colleagues from operations, and I still can hear them saying, “we don’t need social media information in operations.” Recently, I’ve observed that it is slowly changing.
From our point of view, social media information is just an additional pillar to gain the perfect situational awareness. Indeed, you don’t have to show every tweet and each Instagram photo that is tagged with your airline name. That doesn’t make sense at all.
Again the challenging part is in interpreting and curating social media information. The goal behind always has to be to provide a comprehensive view. Here are two examples of how we solved this challenge.
Now we are talking about the premium class — FlightRadar24. Why premium class? Because there’s such a massive potential in FlightRadar24 data. But it also bears quite a considerable complexity. So, what should you do with FlightRadar24 data?
The answer is: Real-time competitor benchmarking.
Just imagine monitoring your OTP in real-time with your most important competitors. Or comparing your delay minutes ratio at a particular airport with other carriers at that airport. And so on.
This bears a massive potential. Potential to identify weaknesses in comparison with your competitors, but also potential for further improvement measures. Therefore, we also see this as a strong airline operations trend in 2020.
Nevertheless, it has to be said that this approach requires a lot of development. FlightRadar24 provides only specific information which means a lot of calculation has to be done on your side.
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