OTA Insight embraces continuous innovation. As part of our ongoing R&D efforts, we are happy to announce some improvements in our rate shopping infrastructure that will continue to empower our customers with the most reliable and accurate rate shopping dataset in the industry.
Data engineering and data science is the core of what OTA Insight does, so we invest a lot in these areas.
Our rate shopping infrastructure is our latest infrastructure piece to receive a complete technical rework and rethink. After all, over the past years we have grown to shop over 1 billion data points on a daily basis.
With this new rewrite, OTA Insight will continue to be the industry-leading rate shopping vendor, while already preparing the next years of innovation in the industry.
Over the past few years we have pushed a lot of rate shopping innovations in the market. Let’s review the highlights.
While shopping data, we capture all rates in an efficient way and don’t pre-process any data. This allows very flexible analysis. For example, with room type-based pricing you can see restricted, flexible rates or fully cancellable rate filtering. These features are available both in our products and our third-party integrations with the likes of IDeaS (for room-type mapping), Duetto and EzRMS.
We accurately detect taxes set across all channels through advanced pattern recognition. This allows us to freely convert rates to include or exclude taxes, making sure you can compare apples with apples.
We were the first rate shopping vendor to allow clients to initiate a complete re-shop of their competitive set. A live shop means you’re actually re-fetching rates from the OTA, both for a competitive set or your parity view, all within a few minutes.
We have engineered away issues around data not being refreshed using automated integrity control, or data not being accurate using advanced anomaly detection. Data quality is difficult to qualify - we believe in being honest and transparent, and if you pay for daily shopping you will receive those daily shops.
Providing data to customers is one thing but making sure we do not overload an OTA, booking engine or API integration is equally important. So we have implemented adaptive rate limits, which allow us to slow down traffic automatically when an OTA, booking engine or API integration is behaving more slowly than usual.
In some areas of our development, we’ve made significant improvements. The following are particularly of note.
We are now able to predict in advance when a rate shop could be delayed so much that data feeds, email reports and the like are impacted. This allows us to respond to issues more quickly and resolve them before customers are impacted.
Certain data is more time-sensitive than others. For example, data sent to your RMS provider needs to be shopped sooner than daily reporting shops. We now offer full support for dynamically changing priorities in our shopping workload.
These reworks will be the base on which we will build future product developments. This is neither the beginning nor the end of our continuous self-improvement efforts; it’s a constantly evolving process.
With this we would like to thank the whole engineering team for their combined effort in re-architecturing and improving this complex part of our infrastructure. Their passion, smartness and teamwork is extremely inspiring - they are truly the #BestTeamEver!
The author of this blog post is Mathias Verhoeven, OTA Insight's Director of Engineering.