Dublin Airport Uses Up-To-Date Insights to Improve Passenger Experience

About the company

Dublin Airport Authority (daa) operates Dublin and Cork airports in Ireland and has significant overseas businesses through its ARI and daa International subsidiaries. Dublin and Cork airports are the two largest airports in the Republic of Ireland. Dublin Airport is the fifth largest airport in Europe for transatlantic connectivity. daa currently has direct flights to over 190 destinations in 42 countries operated by almost 50 airlines.

Their Challenges
  • daa needed greater insight into their retail, car park, and overall airport operations 
  • Management wanted to create a more seamless experience for customers 
  • As the airport grew, employees needed access to data on the vastly increasing number of passengers. 
How we helped
  • Data is updated every two minutes, so airport employees always have near real-time access to information 
  • Passenger volume is broken down by the minute so managers can create a more seamless passenger experience 
  • In-depth reports give operations managers direct insight into passenger volumes and forecasted growth. 
The visibility we gain with TARGIT is very important for our entire business. It's empowering for so many people at different levels of capability across departments.
- Bala Baskaran, Data Engineering & Platforms Manager, Dublin Airport DUB

Eliminating Reporting Delays


When you visit an airport, you come in contact with an array of distinct brands like retailers, individual airlines, security organizations, restaurants, and more, along with staff and equipment managed by the airport itself. To keep all these operations running smoothly — and working toward the mutual goal of passenger satisfaction — airports must carefully monitor and manage operational and strategic data.  

Before TARGIT, Dublin Airport Authority (daa) ran all of its reports out of a clunky platform that only ran rudimentary data reports. It also took at least fifteen minutes to produce each report, making for a tedious, often delayed path from backend data processing to frontline decisions.  

Many teams couldn’t act on reporting insights within the decision window, which led to many bottlenecks in security lines, at busy check-in counters, and more. The airport also had trouble gathering and analyzing data from the companies that operated inside of their facility, from major international airline brands to onsite cleaning and hospitality teams.  

As a starting point, daa began searching for a BI solution to help them better manage their duty-free retail shops. 


Greater Insight into Millions of Moving Pieces


The airport adopted TARGIT Decision Suite in 2010 and deployed it across duty-free stores. They were so impressed with the comprehensive view of the business that by 2013 they had implemented TARGIT in their car parks and general airport operations.  

Today, daa uses TARGIT to gain greater insight into the millions of moving pieces inside of the airport, increase the efficiency of daily operations, and improve passengers’ experiences at every step of their airport journey — from security queues to a pre-flight drink at the bar.  


BI Dashboard


TARGIT delivers real-time reports to managers on passenger volume broken down by the minute, so they can always plan ahead for the busiest days of the week and busiest hours of the day to ensure the airport is staffed optimally and passengers move through to their gates as quickly as possible. 

When employees want to drill down into a particular number for greater detail -— such as what days of the week most people travel from Ireland to France — they do so with a single mouse click. In the past, this same level of visibility required hours of coding by the IT department. 

Daa can also use TARGIT to share passenger volume reports with retailers, restaurateurs, and other entities operating inside of the airport. In return, TARGIT’s integration capabilities make it easy for these organizations to share performance and customer data with the daa operations team, connecting the dots between multiple elements of the airport’s ecosystem.  


Streamlining Passenger Experiences and Airport Operations  


At daa, TARGIT integrates with multiple sensors and devices to streamline passengers’ experiences and give staff instant visibility into statuses and errors.  

While passengers wait in security lines, a queue measurement system anonymously tracks cell phone locations to monitor how long people have been waiting in one area. If the waiting time is longer than airport efficiency benchmarks, managers are alerted in real-time through TARGIT so they can open another X-ray line in a busy section immediately. 

Data is updated every two minutes in the TARGIT system to ensure administrators and managers are always looking at the most up-to-date information on passenger movement, overall volume, and employee efficiency. 


Airport - Security TARGIT dashboard


As staff at daa have discovered, passenger patterns can vary wildly — from passengers who show up hours before their flight to those who arrive 15 minutes before and everyone in between. Nevertheless, teams can run data through TARGIT to predict how many people will be arriving at the airport and at what time with an average of 97 percent accuracy.  

The result? A higher focus on data-driven strategies across multiple teams and departments at daa. As one employee explains, “Now that we have access to our data, we're actually using it a lot more to make informed decisions about daily operations.” Whether in security, retail, or internal operations, analysts use historical data and real-time insights to make judgment calls on the best ways to reduce delays and create more convenient passenger experiences.  

Each week, data analysts at daa present TARGIT dashboards in group meetings to discuss the previous week’s performance and forecast for the upcoming week. They’ll study projected bag figures using passenger volumes and their own unique bag capacitor ratio formula.  

These insights give daa’s asset management teams insight into what they should expect to see in the upcoming week and get ahead of any potential concerns or capacity constraints.  

“With TARGIT, we're not only providing ourselves with data — we're providing our customers and stakeholders with data as well.” 

Analysts also use TARGIT to generate inbound baggage reports for handling agents at multiple airlines that operate within daa. These reports help airlines accurately assess how long it will take for baggage to arrive on claim belts following a flight’s arrival. That way, they can pass an accurate estimate on to passengers or optimize handling operations to reduce average wait times.  


Soaring into the Future of Data-Driven Decision-Making 


Nearly 15 years into its partnership with TARGIT, daa's business intelligence initiatives have resulted in a sharpened focus on customer experience, from the moment a traveler parks their car at the airport car park until they step out into their final destination. 

Partnering with TARGIT has helped the airport increase its BI maturity and remain agile in the face of extreme industry disruption. Even with the sharp decline of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, daa’s analyst teams forecast passenger volume growth in the coming years. Their robust reporting and data-driven approach to operations management have positioned them well to meet passengers' needs as they evolve post-pandemic and in the future.  

In the years to come, daa will build upon the knowledge gained through many years of learning from data-driven decisions. 

As Declan Shortall, Business Support Executive, Terminals Standards & Planning, explains, “Right now, we have about 80% known data and 20% unknown data. We want to continue breaking down the invisible walls of our data analysis department by empowering end-users with real-time, self-service data access.” 

Originally published March 17, 2020. Updated February 26, 2024