Value of Consumer Information and Business Analytics

Wall Street Journal (subscription required) is running an article about an attempt by several online aggregators to level the playing field in the airfare market by revealing trend information to consumers. Several sites are providing the following data for flights between two points: lowest price, average price, predicted change and a confidence level (statistical confidence) about the prediction regarding a predicted change in the price.

Two things really stuck out in my mind about these great tools for air travelers: consumers often ignore or are ignorant of business sales cycles, and a B.S. degree in business analytics or computational mathmatics (applied statistics), followed up by a top-tier MBA is a powerful business tool.

The airfare tools can be found at FareCompare, Farecast (Now defunct), and Kayak.