How We Find Intelligence through Alternative Data

An Example Visualizing America's Growing Skyline

Visual Approach Construction Index

A big part of what we do here at Visual Approach is to find meaning in alternative data. The word “alternative” has come to mean something different these days, however there is no better word to describe it. Information that is useful, but not directly related to aviation is alternative. Yet, this data can give us great insights into how the market is performing, and more importantly, how it will perform in the future. Finding these relationships is a big part of what we are doing at Visual Approach.

The amount of aviation data available is staggering when compared to other industries. Especially in the U.S., we have detailed traffic, flight, and even origin & destination information with fares. We recently released a tool to dive into some of this data recently, which you can use for free at our Traffic Pivot Tool . Yet, while this plentiful data is a blessing, it can also become a crutch.

Finding meaning and differentiation in alternative information is the essence of Visual Approach

There is good data available in commercial aviation. The challenge is that it is very difficult to differentiate with good data that everybody has. As technology progresses, opportunities to bring other data sets into meaning by analyzing and drawing pictures will continue to open. This is essence of Visual Approach.

As closely connected as we all are to the travel industry, the individual growth of cities and markets becomes paramount. Today, we largely look at common information based on traffic, fares, census information… all trailing data from which we draw trends. Using alternative data and information will allow players in the industry to differentiate from their competitors with more accurate market forecasts, strategic moves, and pricing intelligence.

For example, I have written before about the connection with new building construction and economic growth by a region. Below is an interactive map showing current building in North America, as well as planned future construction of large buildings in the United States. This is just one of the many avenues of leveraging alternative data currently being developed. Of course, just collecting the data is not enough (and why are not called “Textual Approach”). Putting the data into visual form is kind of in our DNA.

Play with the map. Zoom, pan, rotate to your heart’s content. More importantly, let us know what you think. If you have ideas on potential applications for alternative data or would like to get in touch with us regarding our work with alternative data, don’t hesitate to reach out. There is much more to do, and the available information grows exponentially every day. Back to work…