"We have served the bizarre thing that people like to build something on their own, so they are building their own reports," Merten said. "They like to show and they don't like to share it. This is where we need to work on the cultural basis that it is a plus for everybody to share data, to share best-in-class reports."
Although Merten said that the company has a long way to go with its use of business data, it already plays a key role in sales strategies.
"We are collecting a lot of data from the website, from social media, and we try to create those patterns and see what people are looking for," he explained. "And out of those patterns create an individual offer.
"From the traditional sales organisation with account management we have created a really new organisation beside that, purely contacting the customer in electronic ways via individual newsletters to hopefully get a very individual, personalised offer that a customer is likely to accept."
One of the next steps will be for Lufthansa to complete the migration of sales data from its subsidiaries into a central Teradata data warehouse.
"We are not yet there, it is still in the process [of being integrated]. As Lufthansa is by the far biggest portfolio, it was obvious that Lufthansa should be the leading [system]," Merten said.
"We started just by copying data out of the carriers' data warehouse into the Teradata database," he explained. "Now we are step-by-step closing down the local data warehouses, but it was essential that we could not just switch it off, so we still have a transition phase that lasts a couple of years. It is a big thing, we are dealing with a lot of passenger data, historical data also."
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