As leaders of the company that connects the world’s hotels to the world’s leading distribution networks, we at DHISCO have a wealth of data about travel trends, right at our fingertips.
Although much of the information is proprietary, there are many ways it can be sliced and diced confidentiality. And we are always looking for new ways to look at that information to give our partners a competitive edge.

To advance that goal – and to have a little fun – this week we announced plans to create a data playground of sorts that will challenge students at the University of North Texas to dive in and find new ways to use all that information.

Steven Cobb, associate dean for administrative affairs at the university’s College of Arts and Sciences and director of the Center for Economic Education, came up with the idea for The Big Data Challenge, which we will kick off on UNT’s Denton campus Sept. 10.

Teams of students will be given a set of data that has been scrubbed of confidential or competitive information but still will contain vast amounts of material about international hotel rates and travel and booking trends. The teams will then have 60 days to analyze, manipulate and design that data however they desire.

Prizes ranging from $500 to $1,500 will be awarded to the teams that come up with the best ideas for turning that data into insights and using it to find competitive advantages.

At DHISCO, we are constantly looking for new ways to engage with our communities, identify trends and investigate ways to make our travel partners more competitive. With this event, we can do all of that while having a little fun and helping students learn about the travel and technology industries.

– Toni Portmann