A recent article “A Robin Hood for Inconvenienced Fliers in Europe” in the Wall Street Journal caught my attention for the company’s innovative use of software technology to address a social issue. The article profiles a company founded by Dutch software executive Hendrik Noorderhaven for the benefit of inconvenienced air passengers in Europe. His company EUClaim takes up cases from aggrieved passengers who are entitled to compensation due to flight delays, cancellations, etc, caused by a fault of the flight carriers.
“His staff has tapped dozens of sources of information on air traffic, airport operations and weather conditions to build and constantly update a database of every flight in Europe’s skies.” EUClaim compares the claims from their clients with the information stored in their database. They make a careful determination of the reason for the hassle, whether within the control of the carriers or due to external factors like weather conditions. The company uses their evaluation to compel the airlines to pay up, and will even fight the matter in court, if the airline is found at fault and refuses to pay.
The driving factor behind the company’s ability to restore the fliers’ rights is a method for data collection and an educated analysis of that data. The company is an example of the versatility of technology to assist in various applications, including providing a valuable service to otherwise disenfranchised consumers.
Insurance carriers, whose business depend heavily on large amounts of data, may note how technology can engender business results through a productive storage and analysis of data. An example of an insurance application of this concept would be a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution integrated with a Compensation Management solution. Such a system allows information of agents as well as the sales cycle to be stored and shared in real time between producers and managers. This technology allows carriers to save time and money on simplifying administration and reducing errors. In effect, the carriers become their own “Robin Hood’s” – reducing wasted resources to allow the carrier to better serve their customers.