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Building Risk-Averse Enterprises in the Travel Industry


Travel enterprises need to intercept risk before it happens, and at all levels—across suppliers, employees, contractors, and other external stakeholders. Being prepared for any eventuality is critical for a quick and effective response. Any inefficiency in the event of a catastrophe can result in human, asset, and reputation loss. The ability to swiftly detect risk, and promptly contain the event is optimized through advanced intelligence operations driven by real-time behavioral foresight. Analyzing data by using business intelligence, data science, and agent modeling provides actionable business and operational insights for risk mitigation.

No News is Good News

Being in the news may not always be a good thing. Often headlines are the travel industry player’s worst nightmare. A negative headline may lead to immediate, long-term, and potentially fatal business consequences. Revenues may shrink while expenses—especially from litigation—skyrocket. Shareholders may be at the gates, regulators may consume all the available time, and the brand value and capitalization of the company may collapse, driving financial defaults across the board.

The headlines could be simple. An employee or contractor has perpetrated an action that has caused material damage to people, assets, and corporate goodwill. Lives, property, reputation, and more are at risk. A tragic example of this is the Germanwings Flight 9525 crash in the French Alps in March 2015. News reports shared that pilot Andreas Lubitz had practiced rapid decent in an aircraft on an earlier flight that month; that the crash was deliberately caused by the co-pilot, who had previously been treated for suicidal tendencies and had been declared ‘unfit to work’—information that Lubitz kept to himself.

During the ensuing inquiry into the Germanwings incident, it was discovered that there were indications that the airline had previous knowledge of Lubitz’s feelings of depression and being ‘burned out’. Had the right data been analyzed and his adverse behavior been identified, there is reasonable belief that it would have raised a red flag before the tragedy took 150 lives and liquidated Germanwings’ reputation. The answer lies in what we call Behavior Trajectory.

This white paper will discuss the growing need of travel enterprises to intercept risk before it happens, and will offer guidance as to what data to analyze that will help identify that risk.

Human Behavioral Mapping is Key to Staying Safe

Behavior Trajectory is the experience-based tradecraft that leverages all available data, information, and intelligence, to project and map behavioral patterns of an individual or a group of individuals. This is very effective when it comes to risk assessment and mitigation. Behavior Trajectory is best understood as an advanced level of Open Source intelligence wrapped in agent-based modeling. By using applied science, users can identify and predict human behavior based on patterns of speech, activity, engagement, and other attributes, on a regular basis. However, the patterns are disrupted when adverse markers, such as words, activities, even nodes of relationships, change and become ‘risk’ markers. In the graph below you will find an example charting an individual’s Behavior Trajectory:


Social media posts, for instance, change in tone, tenor and emotion to reflect an individual’s risk quotient. Posts aligned with news such as divorce, loss of a family member or friend, global conflicts, litigation, and other untoward incidents are indicative of emotional changes. These posts, if aligned with key data points such as pay increases or decreases, promotion, and reprimand, can indicate that individual’s motivation to act out adversely. Behavior Trajectory searches for and recognizes patterns that may indicate adverse anomalies.

Behavioral patterns often fall into pattern-of-life events that include ‘glad tidings’ and ‘sad tidings.' They represent coming births, marriages, college education, divorce, legal woes, and so on. In each instance the second level of analysis finds, assesses, and quantifies the cause and effect of each pattern of life (all harvested through all source/open domain means).

The end result is clarity on the events in individuals’ lives that instigate them to engage in adverse behavior or defect to a competitor. The figure on preceding page shows the steps needed to turn behavioral patterns into actionable insight.

Travel Industry Use Cases

Behavior Trajectory can also be used to analyze the actions of a group of people, say for instance, flight attendants who go on strike. Knowing what employees are thinking before they take action can truly impact an organization’s bottom line reactively, and their top line, proactively. In this particular case, it is the ability to keep that airline operating.

  • Identify normal versus abnormal behaviors
  • Analyze behaviors out of the behavioral pattern
  • Anticipate adverse behavior in time to take action

At Airports: Another use case is using Behavior Trajectory to analyze the actions of external stakeholders, such as the airport fueling staff. Earlier this year, a major Canadian airport had to cancel 200 + flights due to a strike by the airport staff. The strike disrupted operations with a major decrease in the number of people available for refueling the aircraft. The event was well telegraphed through a host of open domain sources and the airline knew well in advance the risk. Having the right tradecraft in conjunction with publically accessible data could have helped the airport to mitigate its risks well ahead of the event.

In Hotels: The risk of bad actors, or just disenfranchised employees or contractors, placing bio-agents into the hotel systems’ HVAC, poisoning food and water, or blowing up the hotel gas line are major catastrophes that can impact a hotel.

In Aircraft: Let’s take a step into the future with the hypothetical world of pilotless aircraft. Terrorists may be able to hack into the communications systems that will exist for these aircrafts and possibly take over a jet. What is the value of having tools in place that can predict when this happens and stop it from happening? That’s the power of Advanced Business Intelligence. While there are technological steps that can be considered to impede the capture of the aircraft’s controls, turning your data into actionable insight will bring the ability to rapidly identify the individuals’ (or groups of individuals acting in concert) intent of taking adverse action.

Deep Dive: How Does Advanced Business Intelligence Work?

Advanced Business Intelligence is based on a combination of three techniques that are used to process as much data per person as possible.

  • Geospatial Statistical Analysis: This helps in understanding environmental factors and the structural conditions of various communities and individuals. This activity correlates multiple layers of spatial data to provide deep and rich context.
  • Open Source Intelligence: This includes information gained from websites, public forums, customer data, social media, and non-traditional publishing outlets.
  • Social Network Analysis (SNA): This enables researchers to identify the close-knit structure of small communities and groups. It identifies key sub-groups and families, characterizing their interests and needs, quantifying their potential market value, or assessing the risk.


Coforge has the Answer

Digital Foresight®, Coforge’ advanced business intelligence solution informs clients about an employee’s or contractor’s likelihood to act out, enabling corrective, preventive actions to avoid damage to people, assets, and reputation. The solution offers business intelligence as a service and is grounded in advanced predictive analytics, fusing company data with all sources of external data. This proven solution enables clients to understand, see, and anticipate with exactness, each individual, employee, or contractor who is likely to engage in adverse behavior—giving insights into why and when, and most importantly in how to engage with them and take the best preventative action. Data available from companies on employees and contractors gets older and becomes less reliable over time. The realities experienced in life by the individual are not necessarily mapped to company records. Imagine the power to know the risks arising from an employee’s or contractor’s adverse behavior, including sabotage and internal compromise; the power to protect the assets and the reputation of your business. Imagine also the power to keep your customers, expand your relationship with them, and to offer them products and services they expect. Digital Foresight® arms you with astute and updated understanding of all possible scenarios and enables you to protect your business with foresight.

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