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Agoda People Analytics and Business Culture A Case Solution
Agoda is among the largest online travel agencies serving customers worldwide to place their bookings for travel. The company operates in a highly competitive space where competitors like Airbnb, Booking.com and other travel agency websites carry significant market share. On the other hand, Agoda emphasizes its competitive advantage by being 'data rich' and incorporating the tools to analyze that data for strategic decision-making that enables the company to make a well-informed decision.
Furthermore, Agoda has been able to sustain itself in the market with constant innovations in order to benefit both the accommodators and travelers, which has significantly sustained its position in the market. Initially, the company started with challenges in incorporating 30 different languages and currency incorporation to its website, whereas the company now has a different set of challenges where the in-house data must be managed. Due to its ability to embrace technology, the company is among the leading competitors in the travel agency market.
Following questions are answered in this case study solution
Carefully identify and summarize the major players and events that are presented in the case. Identify and summarize the fundamental issues, challenges, and problems in the case and briefly frame the challenge/problem at Agoda (in the form of a question).
What is Allen's personal challenge at Agoda? How would you characterize Agoda's work culture?
Analyze the potential of the proposed data management tools. How will they improve the way talent is managed? Are there drawbacks?
Based on a careful review of course readings, what other data-driven people insights could be helpful to Agoda? What data would be needed, and how would it be collected, and presented?
What are Allen's key issues going forward and what advice would you offer him?
Case Analysis for Agoda People Analytics and Business Culture A
1. Carefully identifies and summarizes the major players and events that are presented in the case. Identify and summarize the fundamental issues, challenges, and problems in the case and briefly frame the challenge/problem at Agoda (in the form of a question).
The inception of Agoda started in 1998 when the company had instilled itself in the travel agency market. Agoda sufficiently managed to present the most competitive options for accommodation in travel; however, the company faced sufficient competition in the new market due to low barriers to entry. After the dot-com boom, several companies had established their internet presence, yet online travel agencies defined by the likes of Agoda and Priceline had only an online presence to market their services. Thus, the initial challenge for the company was to incorporate real-time data for currencies in order to suffice the usage in over 30 countries. Moreover, the company had to incorporate various languages and make its services functional on both mobile phones and desktops. The technological advancements in the early days enabled Agoda to expose itself to the importance of technology and data, and it made its mission to allocate its business around technology. It was noted that the success of the business in its early days was primarily due to the presence of technology.
After its establishment in the travel agency market share, Agoda had to be competitive amidst the rising new competitors like Airbnb Inc., which primarily induced redefined structures to market to those empowered customers. Thus, the company readdressed their company's hierarchy while changing the roles found in contemporary business practices. The company renamed its HR department to the people's department in order to eliminate their role working in monopoly to engage with the managers. Furthermore, the company thoroughly addressed that being' data rich' was not the only goal but being able to analyze the data to find competitive advantage was the organization's primary goal, which instigated the company to empower managers to hire their own respective employees with flexible pay scales. The pay was reviewed annually by the directors to evaluate the department's performance. However, the question arises that the lower barrier to entry leads to significant competition and since technology is an open space, will Agoda be able to edge out competition through being' data rich' forever, or does it have to restructure the strategies associated with the sustainability of the business?
2. What is Allen's personal challenge at Agoda? How would you characterize Agoda's work culture?
Allen was responsible for restructuring the business from the traditional hierarchal strategies incorporated by numerous businesses worldwide. However, he faced significant challenges in empowering managers entirely. Moreover, the redefined strategies incorporate the relationship between people's departments and employees only through the managers' added complexity compared to the traditional approach. However, the introduction of technology and human resource integrated systems (HRIS) like workday enabled the company to incorporate efficient communication, which was led by data.
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