Emburse Analytics Examining the ROI of Travel Data

Examining The ROI Of Travel Data

From January 26, 2021

What’s the ROI from obtaining accurate and complete data? What makes a company an ideal candidate to invest in data analytics? And what can your data tell you about the hidden savings and sneaky expenses within your program?

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For a program with approximately US$50M in travel and expense spend, expenditures typically break down into five main categories.










Rental car

Travel managers and procurement professionals are often surprised by how similar meal spend can be to air spend. With so much focus and attention on maximizing savings in the air category, a closer look at meals data can provide significant savings, despite its notoriously difficult-to-corral nature.

Looking into whether meals are within policy, exceed diem limits, excessive or are charged unnecessarily — such as when breakfast is purchased despite being included in the hotel rate — are all instances where savings can be found in this difficult-to-manage category. If spend is significant enough, exploring a dining rebate program like that offered by Dinova may also be worthwhile.

Given the numbers above, what can companies that invest in data expect to receive in terms of savings? Once more using the US$50 million managed travel program as an example, an investment in solutions like those offered by Emburse Analytics Pro Travel result in the following conservative savings, on average:


Air $460,000
Meal $180,000
Hotel $570,000
Rental Car $120,000
Misc. (Ancillaries, Ground, Subscriptions, Mileage) $120,000
Total savings (annual) $1,450,000


The savings realized in each of these categories can take a few forms. For example, air savings can be achieved through levers such as reducing air leakage (bookings made outside the program/out of policy), negotiating better contracts and increasing advance purchase.

Hotel leakage has been a longstanding pain point for travel managers. But advance purchase has recently fallen off many travel professionals' radar given the elimination of change fees by many carriers. Nevertheless, the volatility of airfares in the current environment will have a major impact on savings. We’ve had clients tell us recently that a delay in booking of only a few days can result in airfares that more than double. Analyzing price versus advance purchase will remain critical to optimize spend.

There are also some “sneaky” expenses that can be identified when data is made more accurate and complete. One Emburse Analytics Pro Travel client realized their organization was spending close to US$8,000 a month on virtual conferencing subscriptions which were being expensed under the category of Miscellaneous. These individual expenses were overlooked, even though the company already had an enterprise solution in place for all employees.

Another Emburse Analytics Pro Travel client found by analyzing company data that many employees were using rental cars to travel to and from the airport, yet left that car parked at the hotel while expensing rideshare for trips to and from meetings.

There’s tremendous power in gaining access to accurate and complete data to identify opportunities to save money and make your program more efficient.

Want to access your T&E spend or ROI analysis?

If you’re looking to get more visibility into your company’s T&E spend or you’d like to request an ROI analysis for your company, contact us today.