From time to time, I love to publish my thoughts and predictions about the trends in the world of airline KPI. Although I’m not right with each forecasted trend, my hit rate seems to be quite good.  

The last time I wrote down my thoughts was by the end of 2019 (Here’s the article). One of the major trends I forecasted at that time was about dynamic and temporary KPIs. Although partially driven by COVID-19, many airlines have started to go down that road and start thinking dashboards more dynamically.

However, the world today is entirely different from the one by the end of 2019. COVID-19 has hit the aviation industry with an incredible impact. Therefore, the pandemic situation also impacts current trends and developments in the world of airline KPIs. But actually not solely in a negative way. The exceptional situation also leads to new thoughts, concepts, and ideas.

So here we go with ten trends I’m currently predicting that will dominate tomorrow’s world of airline KPIs.

Airline KPI Trend #1: Mobile KPI Usage Will Increase

Actually, this is not a new trend but a development I’m forecasting for quite a while. Accordingly, many airlines have already started to use KPI solutions that support seamless mobile usage across all devices.

However, I still wanted to add this trend again. Especially since I firmly believe that COVID-19 will accelerate the need for mobile solutions. With increasing home office, decentralize working, etc. mobile usage won’t be a nice-to-have any longer.

Airline KPI Trend #2: New KPIs due to CORONA

Ok, this is a safe bet. Once airlines are re-starting their operations, we will witness new CORONA-driven KPIs. I’ve published an article where I discuss my ideas of required post-COVID KPIs. But regardless of the exact KPIs, the trend to monitor different, additional, and new KPIs is evident from my point of view.

Airline KPI Trend #3: The Rise of Smart KPIs

One of my favorite topics and definitely the one I’m most thrilled about. Not because it’s a fancy one but because I see immense business value in it. Smart KPIs will introduce a new era in terms of airline operations KPIs. Instead of monitoring 5, 10, or 20 dedicated KPIs, the concept of Smart KPIs allows the calculation of thousands of KPIs. If you want to dig a bit deeper into that topic, here’s a whole blog post about it.

Airline KPI Trend #4: New Forms of Visualization

Although tightly linked to Smart KPIs, I’m convinced that this trend is absolutely indispensable. Instead of the classic dashboard, we will see KPI solutions utilizing modern, state-of-the-art visualization.

Worth to mention, that is not about the visual design but the entire user interface and user experience. The feed-based approach of presenting KPIs and further information is definitely one of the prime candidates in this context.

Airline KPI Trend #5: The importance of communication functionalities is going to increase.

Again this one is partially driven by COVID-19. In the past KPI solutions, were, at least in many cases, one-way streets. KPIs were calculated and delivered to stakeholders. In the future, the importance of having direct communication about KPIs will steadily grow. 

Airline KPI Trend #6: Contextual KPIs to drive awareness and communication

This trend is the logical (and necessary) result of smart KPIs and an increased need for communication. With Smart KPIs, we will see the possibility of providing much more contextual KPIs to a respective audience.

Instead of showing the overall OTP or regularity, it will be possible to deliver precisely the respective OTP that is relevant. Accordingly, contextual and extremely focused communication streams between employees are getting enabled.

Airline KPI Trend #7: Information beyond KPIs

Interestingly, this KPI trend is about KPIs. In the past, we’ve seen many dashboards focused on KPIs only. The trend I’m forecasting is a necessary and essential enrichment/enhancement with additional information: External information (e.g., social media information or news websites), industry information (NOTAMS, Weather, etc.), but also internal information. 

Airline KPI Trend #8: Push Notifications

A small yet so significant functionality we are going to see more often in the future. With push notifications, relevant stakeholders will be informed about relevant updates directly on their smartphone — similar to many other standard apps on their smartphones.

Of course, it’s not the push notification that drives the complexity of this functionality (and the benefit at the same time). The success stands and falls with the “smartness” of the push notifications. For more information on that topic, check out this article

Airline KPI Trend #9: Situational awareness combined analytical insights.

This one is a general trend I’m forecasting. I’m genuinely convinced that we will see a fusion of the traditional KPI approach with advanced analytical methods soon. Again, also linked to Smart KPIs, future KPIs won’t just provide a situational awareness but also analytical insights. I’d even go that far, that future KPIs will give answers to questions you haven’t asked yet. Huge potential!

Airline KPI Trend #10: Quantitative KPIs

Last but not least, I’m forecasting the trend towards quantitative KPIs. That doesn’t mean that current, qualitative KPIs won’t exist any longer. On the contrary, they will be revitalized with the smart KPI approach. However, quantitive KPIs will provide a new perspective on an airline’s operations. Quantitative KPIs, for example, measures the amount of data updates that have been received for a single flight leg — regardless of the update type. An entire new field ready for exploration.

Your Ideas?

What are your ideas? What are the trends you see on the horizon? Get in touch with me on one of the channels below!


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Benjamin is an aviation-enthusiast, a content-maniac, and CEO of Information Design (in this order). His daily business revolves around pioneering solutions with the aim to change the aviation industry. His visions are based on expertise gained in more than 15 years in the industry, and working with renowned airlines such as Lufthansa, Emirates, Air India, Aegean Airlines, Saudia Airlines, S7, Icelandair and many others.