Sample Computer Science Paper on Business Intelligence

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE

Introduction.

Overview of the Industry

Despite the instability of flight industry in the past, there has been an increase in the demand for online air-travel ticketing and reservation, especially since the year 2006. Companies are turning to online air ticketing in order to minimize costs of operations and wage bill among others. According to Harteveldt (2012), Google analysis shows shop on websites before booking in one of the sites, and this goes further to emphasize on the future on flight booking, which has proved to be moving online.

The world has gone digital and the potential travelers are so occupied with the day’s activities that they hardly have time to drive to an airport or to a travelling agency to the bookings. They also need more information that an agent probably will not be able to answer as he/she has many clients to attend to and accessing a website that answers all their queries is the best idea for the modern man. Having control on how to choose a flight at the comfort of a person’s home is another major benefit of online booking (Hartvedt 2012). The potential traveler has the opportunity to compare various travel rates within a very short time without having to move to every travelling agency’s office.

According to the report presented to the USA congress by United States general accounting office, in July 2003,showed that there has been a major growth in the internet access and there has been an overall fall in the online flight booking charges hence enabling airlines to introduce some cheap flights which accrue from reduced distribution costs.

Competitors namewebsiteRank in searchAny other relevant information
Ebookerswww.ebookers.com12862Ebookers
Kayakwww.kayak.com589Kayak
Pricelinewww.priceline.com683Priceline
Sky scannerswww.skyscanner.net1940Skyscanners
Expediawww.expedia.co.uk6535Expedia
Lastminutewww.lastminute.com3839Lastminute

From the table, we can deduce that among these websites, Kayak ranks higher than other sites and this may be from the fact that they choose their keywords well and did good search engine optimization for their site. Ebookers have some work to do if they hope to compete effectively with other online flight booking sites. Images for their ranking are listed below.

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Priceline has a huge number of visitors from United States of America at 84% and the least number of visitors from United Kingdom at 0.6%.

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Kayak enjoys a huge number of visitors from the United States of America at 80% and the least numbers from Thailand at 0.5%

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Ebookers has more visitors from United Kingdom than any other country followed by United States of America. It has a very small number of visitors from Argentina.

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            Generally, visitors who visit these sites come from school locations followed by people at work then home settings except for ebookers who get more visitors from work place. Most of the visitors are between the ages of 25-64 except for Priceline that gets more visitors even beyond the age of 65 years.

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All the sites enjoy most of their visitors from the United States of America. United States tops the list on both Priceline and Kayak websites and comes second to United Kingdom on the ebookers website. Ebookers enjoy a huge online visitor’s base from over 20 countries. Kayak follows with visitors from around 12 countries and then Priceline get visitors mainly from around 7 countries

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                 Kayak still ranks higher despite dropping two levels down, it is followed closely by Priceline, Skyscanners coming a distant third and then lastminute website. Expedia comes in at fifth position and ebookers comes last. Last minute has the largest page views at 31%.

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            In general, all these online flight-booking sites have experienced reduced visitors on their websites for the last three years. 2014 has been the worst especially for Priceline and Kayak. The keywords most commonly used are mainly the sites name and website address, the word flight appears in all the sites and is the most common word.

Marketing departments and the search engine experts can use this information to come up with a well planned actionable marketing strategies and quality website with the right and most searched keywords in the industry to help promote the online flight booking website and to have a better chance of rivaling competitors who are better placed given the fact that they have in the industry for long.

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All sites get more visitors from those who use their names or website address to search on the internet and then followed by the other type of services they offers apart from online bookings

                     KNOWLEDGE BASE OF SEARCH TERMS  
MARKETING AUDIENCE: Ebooker.com   Country USA Percent   84%   CANADA   2.7% Kayak.com Country %AGE Rank in Country USA 80% 12,653 Denmark 1.1% 1,154 Finland 5.5% 1,322 India 4.6% 30,270 South Africa 4.3% 3,557           priceline.com   Country %age Rank in Country USA 35.2% 1 INDIA 9.4% 2 RUSSIA 3.0% 4 BRAZIL 2.8% 3 JAPAN 2.8% 5    Service Development.   Travel search Booking Management solutions           Cheap flights Hotels Car rental deals. bookings               bookings         cars vacation packages cruisesWeb Design   Keyword %age Ebookers 19.82% Business class flights  3.32%  Ebooker 1.44% Ebooking 1.34% Booking flight 0.87%     Keyword %age  kayak 38.74%  Airline tickets 2.52%  Kayak.com 2.06% Kayak flights 1.85% cheap flights 1.12%           Keyword %age    Priceline 31.02%   priceline.com 1.955%   Priceline hotels 1.52%  Priceline flights  1.22%   Price line            0.80%

All the websites provide other services apart from just bookings alone, for example, Priceline and ebookers offers vacation packages for its clients, they also have car hire service and cruise services. Kayak also does the same apart from cruise services.

Recommendations

Priceline site has been decreasing in the number of website visitors; this can be attributed to poor services, poor search engine optimization practices or even poor marketing strategies. If this is not checked then Priceline maybe out of business in the near future. Kayak on the other hand is enjoying huge traffic, majorly because of a well-developed website which makes it easy to be found be the search engines.

Further analysis of the Priceline website shows that it is very fast compared to others and this may lead to some potential travelers preferring website for any information they want. Such travelers do come back to this site again and that means a good business.

In their article, Airline e-commerce travel trends, Fernandes, Baeza and Volpe from the analyzing of more than 60 airlines, they discovered that there has been a major increase in the number of online flight bookings (10).they realized that airlines have all realized huge profits which have accrued as a result of the online channels as this has really shaped the competitiveness of the industry.

They predict a future where social networks like twitter gain more influence on online flight bookings and more applications being developed to enable ease of social networks integrating with the airlines’ flight booking on them(27). In 2011,the overall online sales in the united states was predicted to be $195 billion and $260 for 2005 showing the importance of online booking channels to the airline industry. Airlines like Delta have a fully integrated booking engine on Facebook (44).

From the above reports, it is evidenced that Kayak flights and Momondo websites are very competitive on the flight-booking field because of the design and contents of these. It is in my view that when developing your flight booking website, you should ensure that the contents of the websites have the most searched keywords like flight booking, flight bookings, low-cost flights, passenger flights, online travel bookings among other high ranking keywords. All these are intended to improve the websites presence on the internet. Morvile (2005, 4) explain this ease of access as the “findability” as the easy of being found online and navigation on your website and extent to which your website can be located.

According to Walter (2008, 3), the main goals of making websites easy to access are to help people locate your site, ease the navigation around your website and to make people want to come back to your website again. The online industry has become so much more popular that for one to reap profits, he must use the best possible way to be visible online than all his competitors. This, therefore means that company will have to hire a professional web designing company or individual as this will not only save you time, but also excuse you from the hard task of creating and managing a website or ending up with a website that cannot be found easily on major search engines.

In his article (Mahoney 2008, 1), Mark suggests the following ways of having an effective website and I strongly recommend that you employ these tips for your success online;

To drive traffic to the website

He recommends that as a website owner, ensure that your website address appears on every item that belong to your business and that include but not limited to brochures, flyers, posters, refrigerator magnets that are placed on fridges, yellow page advertisement letters, email signatures and major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing among others. When these flash messages are placed everywhere then it will be easy for a person to locate them at the time of need. The easier the address, the more the website will be accessed by people who are interested in the services. People searching about your services will either find you or find your competitors. (Lieb 2009).

Use of pictures and images to improve clarity of your messages

Mahoney states that usage of pictures can also help your website to be effective and he suggest that you should use pictures of happy faces in your organization, people doing some meaningful activities like participating in communal works and ensure that you include people of various ages and make use of pictures with low resolutions so that they don’t interfere with the speed of your website. Pictures speak volumes and are a powerful tool of attracting clients. In whatever business one is in it is important to use pictures so that other clients can be attracted when they see the satisfaction that is in the pictures. These pictures therefore must be carefully chosen so that they give a clear and precise message of the type of services that are offered by the organization. According to Mahoney, they should not just use pictures but look for pictures of individuals or celebrities with reputation so that they enhance their marketing

Make navigation across your website easy to the visitors.

In this case, you are to consider making your website’s feature easy to find. Features like ‘contact us” must be easy to access and ensure you include the businesses around your neigbourhood like restaurants, stores and even shops. Do not optimize your page for search engine only, but do it for the people who will visit your site (Danny, D and Erik, D. 2011, 46).

Make it easy for search engines to find you.

The content of your website should have keywords correctly placed to allow major search engines to find your business. We realized that one of the reasons why Kayak flight is doing quite well is because of ease at which it can be accessed through search engine. Ensure that you choose a keyword with less competition but with high search results to enable your appear easily on the search engines.

Just like in the market, clients tend to go for a market, which has the best location and is easy to access. Most of the clients who use flights regularly might not have the time to spend on the internet looking for the cheapest flight. Since time is of essence to them, they will end up picking the company that is easy to access online. Apart from this, the website should be able to offer flash messages to the people visiting it. These messages are good at providing an insight on what the client does not know is available or is being offered by the company.

State your services clearly.

Ensure that when a potential traveler log in to your website, he is able to see all the services that you are able to offer them and their costs, we saw that most of this online flight booking websites offers more services apart from the bookings alone. it is therefore important to state your services clearly, using pictures where necessary so that even if the traveler was just passing through your website, he finds more information more than what he was looking for, and that’s what make a good website, a website with information will have more visitors than a website whose main goal is to show the presence of a business online. In the event that the services are not stated clearly, clients will end up looking for other options. At any time, the client should be convinced that the business is aware of his or her needs. Stating and listing the services provided clearly entrusts the client to the organization because the client is reassured that indeed the services listed will be provided to the letter. The website should provide a menu that enables the clients to get brief information on the services stated. This further assures the client and enables the client to know how the company goes about in offering these services. By just looking at the address of your website, the visitors should be able to tell what your site is all about (Aram 2011, 20)

Have a FAQ page on your website.

The visitors to your site are definitely there for information, provide a page where they can ask question on any information that they were looking for but did not find, or to seek clarification on some issues on your industry. Mahoney states that having this page on your website will save you a lot on the time you spend on time responding to queries from potential travelers. The FAQ page ensures that the clients have enough time to seek for accurate and appropriate clarification of issues. This ensures that there is no congestion at the booking offices. Having this page ensures that the customers concerns are handled adequately and according to their understanding. This page can also allow clients to explore all the options available within the flight company. FAQs page also ensures that the clients are able to get first hand information rather than depending on hear say or myths. The company can use this platform to clarify any information or belief that is detrimental to its reputation and image.

Do not do introduction on your website.

Some websites make it boring to visit as you are taken through the company’s history and yet you are not visiting the site for the history but for the information. It is advisable that you avoid this stage and go straight to the services that you can provide to your customers. It is important to have brief but important details that can attract a client once they visit the website. On opening a website, a client should have a glance of the services offered and to what extent. One should also avoid exaggerating because this might end up disappointing the clients. Talk of the things you are sure can be offered to the clients. A person should not use lies in order to lure clients because if a client has a bad experience then they are likely to share it with more people and this might be harmful to the business. Sometimes introductions might be long and unimportant to the clients. It is true clients like dealing with companies with reputable backgrounds but the information that touches on the history should be provided on the page menu so that the client only visits it if he is interested.

Include testimonials.

Mahoney further states that if you can have some pictures of your clients and their testimonies in your website then that would do a lot of good to your website as the customers will able to read from the testimonies of your satisfied customers and hence feel that if they work with you then they will experience the same satisfaction as the other clients had and that is a plus to an effective website. There is nothing that lures other clients more than a testimonial from the clients who have already had the experience. If other clients see that the people they know or the people they can contact say wonderful things about the services offered then they are likely to use the services. Testimonials is one strong marketing technique that is widely trusted since those who write or say the nice words about a company have no intentions of making a profit. Their views are therefore considered to be objective and informed.

Request for the emails of your online visitors

Ensure that you have a place in your website where your visitors can leave their email addresses. This can be through a subscription link where they subscribe to get more information from you regarding the online flight booking like things to avoid when doing your online flight booking among others. Having the contacts of would be client ensures that follow-ups can be made to ensure that the clients are given the best of the services that there is. The email addresses can also be used to thank the clients for using the services and invite them to use the services again. The clients email addresses may also be used to communicate any changes or improvements to the clients directly therefore avoiding any inconveniences. There are even cases where clients forget important items either in their suites or just anywhere within the company, the addresses therefore become handy in tracking down such clients. In case an incident like a crime occurs, the email addresses may be used to track individuals or even notify them on the progress of a case. The idea of getting a client’s contact is one whose importance cannot be over emphasized ant it is highly recommended that those who operate flight businesses should embrace it immediately.

Directories

Submit your articles about your website together with the link of your site to major online directories like DMOZ, yahoo, google, gimpsy among others. This will have a major boost to your online presence (Fleischner, M. 2011, 83). The directories will enable the clients to get a first hand access to the addresses or other details that they may need in order to book for a flight. The directories also provide a reliable contact especially when the contact is placed on the website. When the articles are in the directory, they become easily accessible and anyone can read them so long as they are interested. Article that are placed on the website are owned by the company and the company is liable to take responsibility if the article provides wrong information. Such an article can therefore be trusted by clients or other interested parties.

References

 Walter, A.2008.Building findable websites: web standards, see and beyond, Berkeley, New riders publishers

Morvile, P.2005.Ambient findabilty: what we find changes who we become, USA, O’Reilly. Press

Mahoney, M.2008.Ten tips to your website more effective [online] (updated 13 Nov 2012) .Available at: http://www.jackrabbitclass.com/Portals/1/Documents/ArticlesOfInterest/Jackrabbit-More-Effective-Website.pdf (Accessed 14 Nov 2012).

.Harteveldt, H. 2012. Future of airline distribution: looking ahead to 2017. Atmosphere research group. Print

United States general accounting office. July 2003.Airline ticketing: impact of changes in the airline ticket distribution industry. A report to the congress. Press

 Fleischner, M .2008.Seo made simple: strategies for dominating world’s largest search engines, USA. Lighting source

Fernandes, Baeza and Volpe (n.d). Airline e-commerce travel trends: current trends and future predictions.Indra.print

Rebbecah, L. 2009.The truth about search engine optimization, New Jersey: Pearson education Inc. Print

Danny, D &Erik, D.2011.Search engine optimization (SEO) secrets. Indianapolis: Wiley publishing Inc. Print

Aram, K. 2011.understanding SEO: A comprehensive guide [online].Available at.

<http://www.amazon.co.uk/Understanding-SEO-A-Comprehensive-Guide/dp/B00930HZPQ >

(Accessed on 24, Dec, 2014).Print