Passenger analysis project wins at Travel Meets Big Data

Travel Meets Big Data
Vincent Harrison, Dublin Airport, with Travel Meets Big Data winners Caroline Kirrane and Barry Scott

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21 November 2016 | 0

A model that analyses the profile of passengers to predict when they will arrive at Dublin airport security ahead of their flight won the top prize at Travel Meets Big Data, Ireland’s first travel industry focused hackathon and conference last weekend.

Married couple Barry Scott and Caroline Kirrane took home the top prize of a five-night stay in New York for their project, which analyses passenger profiles to predict when they will arrive at Dublin airport security ahead of their flight.

The event brought together 200 software developers, data scientists, business developers and marketers to analyse large sets of data to reveal trends and patterns relating to human behaviour and interactions to build commercially viable products and services.

Conference sponsors Dublin Airport and Hostelworld challenged participants to build a security screening system for Dublin Airport and a recommendation engine for Hostelworld users.

“The travel industry is facing increasing challenges in an age where customers are taking ownership of their travel plans. The industry needs to begin to use Big Data to their advantage,” said Silviu Preoteasa, CEO of organiser Build Challenge.

“Taking something like creating an efficient security screening system at Dublin Airport has a positive impact on customers using the facility as well as for the DAA who are running it and making every effort to make the process more efficient.

“Similarly with the task set by Hostelworld, the user is king. If we can build a recommendation engine for users, it’s win/win. Customers are cutting out the middleman, and if we can rely on positive customer reviews, we can save travelers valuable time, improve their hostel experience, and increase user retention. That is what happened here this weekend. It’s been a very powerful learning experience for everyone, and extremely successful for all involved.”

Participants also enjoyed practical workshops with speakers including Toby Houchens, ex-US Army Special Forces turned tech entrepreneur and CEO and founder of Travel Recon; Breffni Horgan, head of product & design, Hostelworld Group; and Dublin Airport innovation manager Katie O’Leary.

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