We had an assignment in INFS 762, Data Warehousing + Data Mining, to write three quick briefs on industry data warehousing projects. Here’s the first from my paper:

XOJet is a young fractional aircraft company. Its primary customers are businesses that seek the convenience of private jet travel but lack the resources to purchase and maintain their own aircraft. Customers can charter flights on XOJet’s fleet of Cessna Citation Xs and Bombardier Challenger 300s or buy partial ownership in planes (“fractional” aircraft). With over 15,000 charter routes and a clientele expecting on-demand service, XOJet faces the logistical challenge of ensuring that it has just enough planes in just enough places at the right times to meet customer needs.

XOJet this adopted a data warehouse in 2006 to allow better analysis of flight patterns. XOJet used its data warehouse to develop algorithms and reports to optimize use of its fleet (Tucci 2007). This system allows XOJet to schedule maintenance around peak flight times and route its planes to arrive earlier and avoid traffic (Tucci 2007).

The data warehouse has provided concrete benefits for XOJet. Other airlines in this part of the industry commonly experience utilization rates of 75% or less. They often must “deadhead”—i.e., fly an empty plane to a different airport to pick up a paying customer. XOJet has been able to use the knowledge discovered in its data warehouse to increase its flight utilization rate to 95–97% (Watson, 2008). A 20% increase in utilization—in one year, XOJet increased its flight hours from 1000 to 1200—can lead to a doubling of profit (Tucci 2007). When XOJet can avoid deadheading and schedule more usable flight hours, it can charge less for hourly fees—27% less than competitors (Watson, 2008). While the data warehouse can’t be credited with all of XOJet’s recent growth and success, its strong competitive position helped it win $2.5 billion in financing to expand its fleet for international operations in 2008 (Lattman, 2008), a year when credit was drying up for nearly everyone else.