FOCUS on Data: A Qrious future

David Leach

Big data platform Qrious is aiming to become the leading provider of location-led insights for New Zealand’s tourism industry.

The Spark-owned analytics venture has been busy with a recent marketing acquisition and the launch of a new cloud-based data platform, which could both feed into its new soon to launch Voyager 2.0 tourism product.

“We want to empower tourism organisations and the industry, fuelling better marketing and business decisions, as well as improving visitor experiences,” says chief executive David Leach.

“We’ll do this by collaborating with other organisations, connecting multiple data sets and delivering insights-as-a-service that are timely, easily accessible and of a high quality.”

Qrious, launched by Spark in 2014, utilises data from the telecom’s mobile network to pinpoint user location. It processes the anonymised data and serves the results to clients in the tourism, transport and events sectors to provide insight into traveller movement.

It is one of a number of geo-location data start-ups in New Zealand making an impact in the tourism sector. Qrious counts among its clients a number of councils and Regional Tourism Organisations across the country, some of whom use its tourism insights product, Voyager.

The company recently bought marketing automation provider Ubiquity in a move it says “will create a game-changing marketing automation and analytics offering in the New Zealand market”. It also launched its Qonnect cloud-based big data platform – a one-stop shop for businesses and organisations to store and manage data.

It is all part of a vision of being able to pull data from different sources together to a single hub, analyse it and serve customers real-time insight.

“There is wide range of data already in existence that is highly relevant for New Zealand’s tourism industry. Some examples include tourist websites, airline bookings, immigration, smart phones, weather, events, car rentals, survey results and more recently the Internet Of Things, or smart, connected devices,” says Leach.

“There are some great tourism examples of insights, but none to my knowledge that truly bring it all together for real-time or predictive analytics.”

Such a service would be a powerful tool for the tourism sector which is relatively rich with data and expected to become more so as new sources, such as location data, evolve. But a lack of relevant, useable and accessible insight from that data is a common complaint.

“The opportunity ahead of New Zealand is to bring many of these sources of data together in a way that is near real-time, easily accessible and stitches it all together by both geo-location and time series. With modern technology it is now possible to connect it all together to enable smarter insights to those that need to know, or what I like to call ‘analytics for everyone’,” says Leach.

“By collaborating as people and businesses, we have an opportunity to bring data together for the benefit of New Zealand’s key industry, and it’s exciting to play a part in that.”

Leach believes New Zealand tourism is something everyone can rally behind.

“I do wonder if in future we can safely ‘donate’ or exchange data for the good of New Zealand. That’s something we all ought to keep exploring in the months and years ahead,” he says

“For example, various tourism organisations might be able to do their part and in return benefit from relevant tourism insights-as-a-service. Food for thought.”

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