KPIs are critical, but which ones? – Traveldoo Insight

BEYOND DATA, Traveldoo serie on business intelligence !

Episode 1It’s the data, stupid!
Episode 2Data: how much is enough?
Episode 3KPIs are critical, but which ones? 


EPISODE 3 – KPIs are critical, but which ones?

You may remember that earlier in the year we wrote about the importance of data and how best to extract meaning from the large amounts of raw data generated by businesses on a daily basis.  This was followed up by our second post in the Business Intelligence series that discussed the ways in which a role-based approach to analytics can ensure that each stakeholder has their needs met and can make timely, decisions based on the facts that are relevant to them.

Traveldoo Insight can track over 100 KPIs across both travel and expense, some of which will be explored below.For this third and final post in the series, we look at some of the most critical KPIs that can and should be monitored by businesses in order to meet financial and/or compliance objectives. Traveldoo Insight can track over 100 KPIs across both travel and expense, some of which will be explored below.

By orienting KPIs around specific T&E user roles, Insight allows teams to quickly and easily access the data they need to improve work efficiency. For Travel and Expense (T&E) Managers, whose focus is likely to be directed primarily towards areas such as policy compliance, process optimization and cost-savings, there are some very specific KPIs that come into play…


Policy Compliance

When it comes to policy compliance, the first step is to identify how much of the travel bookings made by employees are out-of-policy. Where this becomes even more useful, is if followed up with a breakdown of non-compliance per department in order to determine whether out of policy spend is confined to a particular department or if it is in fact a pervasive issue throughout the company.

This is a crucial metric to track because it enables T&E managers to appraise whether their policies are too strict or too lenient. Consequently, they may provide better guidelines and training to enforce compliance or rewrite unreasonable policies to ensure policy compliance.


Cost Savings

Given how material T&E spending is to a company’s financial statements, T&E managers should capitalize on any cost savings opportunities.  Accordingly, looking beyond non-compliance is essential. In practice, this means identifying the bookings with higher-than-average fares based on season, time period, destination, etc. and conducting a variance analysis between the actual cost of booking and the lowest proposed fare at the time the booking was made.

T&E managers could use this information to set guidelines on, where possible, how far in advance employees must book their travels. Also, they could establish internal policies to determine thresholds, for examples, an allowable threshold could be 10% above the lowest proposed fare. Moreover, these indicators are also useful because they could suggest whether actual expenses are in line with budgets and forecasts. This information could also help improve the basis of budgets and forecasts leading to more accuracy in financial planning.


Process Optimization

There is no avoiding the fact that business travel results in a LOT of expense claims. Optimizing the processes involved in these claims is a key concern for T&E Managers. To do this, it’s important to identify the general timeline for the whole process, starting from when an expense claim is generated by an employee up to said employee receiving the reimbursement. Additionally, it’s useful to break down the process into stages: i.e. expense claim creation to submission, to approval by manager, to reimbursement.

This will enable T&E managers to pinpoint bottlenecks in the process. Furthermore, you should also be breaking down and analyzing the processing time by teams and approval managers. This could help you, the expense manager, set guidelines for different teams and their managers to improve process efficiency.


Traveldoo Insight, our new BI module powered by Tableau, brings all of these KPIs and more to life. Tailored to your specific needs, Insight is flexible enough to enable you to perform ad-hoc analysis as and when you need additional information outside of pre-defined parameters.

Some of the key features we enable for all Insight users are filters, parameters, drill up/down, axis modification of all graphs, and alters and notifications. So, if you are the expense manager for the whole company, you would have access to data regarding all business travelers. However, if you wished to get data on a specific subset you could acquire it easily, for example, you could apply filters to dashboards to get data on all expense claims approved by any individual approval manager.

Other options available to you include drilling down from a business unit to cost centers, to departments, to teams, to employees and similarly, you can drill up from an employee to their business unit. On all dashboards that are time based, you can switch the view from looking at daily bookings to monthly bookings or quarterly bookings – whatever you require.

If you’ve any questions on the KPIs discussed above or if you’d like to arrange a demo of Insight, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for more information.

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