American Airlines BI Systems
American Airlines is the world's largest carrier. In an effort
to increase revenue by reducing fraudulent ticket processing, the
airline needed a way to quickly and efficiently query their data
Fast ad hoc inquiries helped expose fraudulent ticketing, saving
about $5 million in five years. In addition, the new data warehouse
significantly reduced storage space needed for data hosting.
American Airlines, together with its regional carriers American
Eagle and American Connection, serve more than 250 cities in 41
countries with 1,100 airplanes. This equates to about 4,400 daily
flights and 125 million transportation documents per year.
The sheer volume of data created by ticket documents demands an
efficient system that will provide continuous ticket transaction
data to ensure profitability on ticket sales.
In addition to profitability management, revenue assurance is a
major requirement. Fraud and other incidents of incorrect revenue
flow can only be detected using a BI system that makes it easy for
rapid query and analysis of large amounts of data.
The aim was to achieve these business requirements, without significant
expansion of storage. Some data warehouse technologies expand the
amount of required storage by five to ten times after indexing -
forcing cusotmers to purchase additional, expensive terabytes of
The Sybase solution met the needs of the airline, returning ad
hoc query results in minutes compared to some BI solutions that
took hours. In some cases, Sybase IQ was consistently 10 times faster
than the other two BI solutions considered.
The solution deployed included Sybase DW Technology and Sybase
IQ Multiplex. The total data warehouse solution was dubbed RADAR
(Revenue Account Data Access Resource).
- Sybase IQ Multiplex - integrated with other
data warehouse technologies to provide a scalable solution.
- Sun Microsystems - server and storage hardware
- Computer Associates - implementation partner
to deploy its front-end, report-generation software.
Using the RADAR system, American Airlines can now:
- Detect fraudulent ticket-processing
- Track ticket sales correctly
- Ensure proper revenue flow
Faster queries leading to more in-depth analysis being done. Sybase
IQ stores about 13 months of data, supporting historical reports
over longer time periods.
Upfront savings - from using a vendor BI solution
compared to custom development amounted to about $250,000.
Data Storage Savings - Sybase IQ reduced the amount
of storage American Airlines needs for the data warehouse to around
600GB, through IQ’s compression and column-indexing technologies.
This compares to the previous two terabytes.
Ongoing savings - have exceeded the projected
$150K per year, with savings of around $5 million over the past
five years. This was driven by fraud detection not previously identified
and the ability to implement appropriate measures to eliminate the
User adoption has grown rapidly.
The impact of IQ Multiplex solution on customers has been through
lower ticket pricing. By being able to detect ticketing errors and
improving cash flow, ticket prices can be kept lower.
The solution has been a win for both the business and its customers.
Study - Austrian Airlines
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