Data Innovators & What Travel Can Learn From ThemIf you’ve been in the travel industry long enough, you know it can be a bit myopic. Sure, there’s plenty we could tell you about data trends in travel, but the industry could use a breath of fresh innovative air. Below are a few of our favorite examples of companies innovating with data outside the travel space—and why they matter when it comes to travel.

1) DNAFit: The DNA of Personalization
DNAFit combines DNA tests and personal fitness by providing users with customized fitness plans and recommendations about what to eat based on the results of their DNA tests. It can’t get much more personal than this. What their capabilities point to is the ability to take pieces of information and translate them into something truly meaningful to the user. Travelers won’t give you their DNA, but they will give you an abundance of data about themselves if you ask. (Really, what traveler doesn’t like to talk about travel?) Just use it wisely. Find ways to give them ultimate value.

2) Spotify: From Tired to Inspired
Among many new projects that have skyrocketed Spotify to the top of the music-streaming industry, Discovery Weekly benefits both artists and listeners. The feature streams new music based on what a listener likes, which means new artists get more exposure and Spotify users get new music that keeps them coming back. According to Fast Company, “Much of Spotify’s success is due to increasingly sophisticated data collection, which allows it to keep releasing new products that captivate its users around a particular mood or moment in time rather than offering the same tired genres.” While the technology is in data collection, the innovation here is in rethinking the way people choose what to listen to. Perhaps travel companies should reconsider the tired old status quo; clearly, it can benefit everyone with a stake in the game.

3) Lattice Data: You Only Think You Have All the Data
Last month, Apple bought dark data company Lattice Data. If you’re wondering what dark data is, it’s unstructured data, the kind held in images and videos. Lattice turns it into structured data that can be analyzed and put to use. With so much of the travel purchase path located in images and video, harnessing this level of data will be essential in the coming years.

What all of these innovations point to is that big data isn’t really about big. It’s about what kind of data you have, and more importantly, how you put it to use. Quality will always outweigh quantity.

Making quality data usable and useful is the future.