Data is the new gold. Every day, some 2.5 quintillion bytes of information are produced. The global data economy is valued at $3 trillion and will doubtless soar given that 75.4 devices are predicted to be connected to the Internet of Things by 2025. Everything will be talking to everything.

Getting data is not the airlines' problem. A single flight is a significant contributor to that mass of daily data. But using data effectively is an issue. The problem for many carriers, especially legacy airlines that have grown organically, is systems not speaking to each other and a lack of data analysis.

Airlines need to harness the power of data to provide customers with the personalized product they crave. Partnership will be vital to success in this regard. Collaborating across the value chain provides access to different data sets and a different perspective. The insights this generates can be the difference between success and failure.

Caution is urged, however. Privacy laws have to followed. The General Data Protection Regulation has come into effect in Europe and provides a stringent baseline on data privacy. It affects European citizens wherever they are in the world and airlines should be cognizant of their responsibilities.

Cybercrime—estimated to cost close to $2 trillion annually by 2019—is another concern.

But harnessing data correctly will give airlines the power to correctly answer critical questions about passenger requirements. What airline doesn't want a higher rate of conversion from look to book on their website.

Speaker: Mario Hardy