Kirill Bogdanov, Aeroflot: We are going to continue the forced information technology development
Kirill Bogdanov, CIO of Aeroflot told about opportunities of technologies of the analysis of Big Data for an aviation industry and the project of creation of the platform for the processing of customer appeals constructed using Big Data in an interview of TAdviser.
Digital transformation in an aviation industry is how noticeable?
Kirill Bogdanov: Implementation of the latest information technologies — one of priority tasks for the industry in general and for Aeroflot in particular. If earlier the level of digitalization was 30%, then now the company goes several years on the fourth place in the world on this indicator. And we are going to continue the forced development in this direction. As the national carrier, Aeroflot considers important to involve in cooperation of the best domestic specialists and the leading Russian universities, to use their developments, including competitive software products.
As far as did the relations with passengers pass into the plane of Big Data?
Kirill Bogdanov: A basis of all current and future changes when approaching to work with clients are technologies of work with Big Data. Thanks to Big Data Aeroflot has new opportunities of conducting effective business. And here personalisation of services when during flight the passenger receives the personalized offers which do its trip to the most comfortable becomes an important element. Big Data about the user experience come from the most different sources. Information search about a travel, booking, search queries about additional services – any actions leave digital marks which can be analyzed for formation of most personalized service package in network. Besides, work with Big Data allows to raise a customer loyalty, for example, due to prompt reply to addresses of passengers. So, in Aeroflot company the platform of complaints and addresses which involves all possible channels of interaction with airline from social networks to letters on a mailbox of the CEO was implemented.
What main trends by Big Data today in the industry in general and in Aeroflot in particular?
Kirill Bogdanov: Due to growth of the market and offers both for the industry in general, and for our company in particular, on the first place there is a work with a customer loyalty. Increase in loyalty to the company is impossible in the absence of smoothly running and quick reaction on the comments left by passengers, complaints and queries arriving from different communication channels. Therefore on the basis of Big Data we created a single platform on processing of addresses of passengers with a possibility of their intellectual classification and routing.
Whether the personnel are rather prepared for work with Big Data? How relevant is an introduction of a position of CDO?
Kirill Bogdanov: Our company experiences multivector "digital take-off" about which it is possible to speak infinitely. And work in the field of use of Big Data technologies I would note separately because it offers prospect of this revolution in service of passengers. With respect thereto we do forward revaluation of personnel priorities. Some positions in connection with digitalization "pass" into the background, and on their place arise new, for work with again appearing tasks. Due to active implementation of projects in the field of Big Data, artificial intelligence and machine learning, CDO comes to the forefront now.
What became the main reason of need of creation of the platform for processing of customer appeals of the company?
Kirill Bogdanov: The platform for processing of customer appeals of the company was created for increase in efficiency, speed and quality of processing of the client requests arriving from different sources. It represents the effective tool which integrated in itself(himself) the different systems and processing of customer appeals, allowing to trace online key trends on social networks, including a feedback about Aeroflot company from leaders of opinions (popular bloggers, journalists and so forth), and if necessary to use all available communication channels for preserving of image of the company. Within the project the fundamental functions of a system allowing to configure and optimize flexibly further algorithms of its work are designed and implemented. Our ultimate goal — to reduce terms of processing of addresses, to communicate proactively with clients on social networks, to constantly improve client experience and to reveal points of improvement or even change of business processes of the company on the basis of client addresses.
In what uniqueness of this project?
Kirill Bogdanov: Now in social networks the behavioural profile of the client accumulates. In this case industrial implementation of Big Data technology for automation and consolidation of processes on a joint of traditional channels of communication with clients and social services was performed.
Regarding work with clients Aeroflot took a step forward, having increased incredibly large volume of sources of a feedback from clients for receiving the most exact and reliable picture of relationship, timely response to complaints and addresses. All this leads to increase in level of loyalty, and finally to growth of sales volume of the company.
What main project deliverable and its perspectives?
Kirill Bogdanov: Thanks to unification of processing of customer appeals the speed of their processing increased and time of issue of the complete and detailed answer to the client was considerably reduced, and due to rapid response to the most resonant information occasions, the loyalty of the potential and existing clients of Aeroflot significantly increased.
In the long term we are going to expand a language model, the list of the processed highways and also to be beyond social networks: begin to obtain information from chats, forums, to move towards integration into the chat-bot. Also we want to deepen Machine Learning technology: after self-training a system will be able independently to provide a part of answers to users, without participation of staff of the company.
A system is already put into operation and functions. Whether it showed the efficiency?
Kirill Bogdanov: A system is put into operation in December, 2017. The assessment of a customer loyalty was carried out on selection of addresses of social networks and from among the addresses which arrived through Single window. Only a month later after implementation the processing speed of "standard" addresses increased by 7%. In January, 2018 in America because of bad weather conditions the set of flights including Aeroflot was cancelled and delayed. From clients of the company there was a huge number of messages with questions and complaints on social networks, and then, thanks to the platform, it was succeeded to support continuous contact with clients, to trace and reveal all arising problems and quickly to solve them.
Besides, a system automatically determines tonality and routes on responsible divisions more than 40 thousand addresses monthly. More than 130 thousand references on social networks accumulate, on them using tools of artificial intelligence the analysis for the purpose of determination of tonality and subject of the most concerning passengers of questions is carried out.
What else projects with use of Big Data are planned by the company in the nearest future?
Kirill Bogdanov: In 2019 digitalization of airline, including implementation of cloud computing and Big Data, remains the priority direction for us. We develop projects using Big Data regarding determination of pricing of passenger traffics more precisely to predict loading of flights. The following direction – predictive repairs (MRO): we think of the fact that airplanes which fly to certain airports receive approximately same problems, and thanks to new technologies, we predict in advance when this or that spare part, taking into account the analysis of weather conditions, quality of a runway and other factors is required.
Already today we occupy one of the leading places among airlines of the world on digitalization and we are going to continue the forced development in this direction. As the national carrier, Aeroflot considers important to involve in cooperation of the best domestic specialists, to use their developments.