Big Data is drawing mega attention. But, whether the plethora of travel startups tossing around the term are earnestly focusing on the technology in the hope of creating the next big thing, that's another matter.
If you want to attract some investors with clout, then slap your travel startup’s profile onto AngelList, insert some Big Data promises, and wait for some huge funding to roll in.
Or, at least that’s the hope.
Shake a travel startup on AngelList these days, and you are likely to see a reference to Big Data.
For example, ”DealAngel is the first ever search engine for hotel deals that uses Big Data analytics to surface the ‘real deals.’”
And, Guestmob is “re-inventing the Priceline/Hotwire model by using big data, machine learning, and social data and helping hotels solve the discount timing problem.”
Sometimes the companies don’t capitalize the words “big data,” and that is always easier on the eyes, and a small blessing.
Many travel companies over the years have accessed a helluva lot of data, but now savvy travel startups are tending to use Big Data — or are announcing their oversized intentions to do so — to accomplish their massive goals.
To be sure, Big Data does holds large promise when those vaunted algorithms are humming along and tapping into the inclinations and habits of millions and gazillions of consumers.
As Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson write in Harvard Business Review:
“… the big data of this revolution is far more powerful than the analytics that were used in the past. We can measure and therefore manage more precisely than ever before.
“We can make better predictions and smarter decisions. We can target more-effective interventions, and can do so in areas that so far have been dominated by gut and intuition rather than by data and rigor.”
Speaking of “gut and intuition,” it’s my gut feeling that some startups are tossing around the phrase Big Data with wild abandon because it sounds hip and trendy. Others are undoubtedly more serious and really have a Big Data focus.
At any rate, Big Data is one of the terms du jour on AngelList.
If use of the term doesn’t turn into cash, the newbies can always pivot to become the TripAdvisor of …
Or perhaps, if the “TripAdvisor of” shorthand is a tad overused, then likening your company to Airbnb works wonders, too.
Here’re the 10 “big data” touting travel startups from AngelList: