Data Diaries: How analytics fuels wanderlust

Data-Diaries-small-teal0A Ukrainian by blood, a New Yorker by heart and a Vanderbilt Commodore by spirit, I’ve always defined myself through places. My identity is a hodgepodge of the places I come from, was raised in and am curious about. In fact, the bucket list I made for myself around age 14 (and recently completed!) is similarly centered around places. It was a short list, but nonetheless not an easy one to accomplish.

Accomplishing the list, left to right: me in Italy, graduating Vanderbilt and hiking in LA.

Here it is:

  1. Spend time in Italy
  2. Attend Vanderbilt University (and as a result, live in the South)
  3. Live in California

Notice a trend?

A few years later, as a sophomore in college, I interned at a travel focused tech startup, where I curated content and recommendations for various cities and activities around the world. I spent hours researching restaurants, museums and more – soaking in all the cultures and locations I dreamed of visiting.

Even as I write this, I’m at an airport, waiting for my flight from San Francisco back to Los Angeles, where I’ve been living for the past few months. (Remember that third bucket list item?)

It makes sense then that my favorite data point is about travel. I never considered myself a “data geek” and tended to shy away from math and analysis; however when it comes to travel, I’m always analyzing trends, looking for patterns and calculating prices. If I’m not designing an infographic or working on an interactive tool for work, you can find me perusing travel websites, planning my next vacation or helping a friend get the best possible deal on a trip.

I’m not unique in this interest; most people love to travel, right? But the problem is that few think that they can afford it. That’s why I love sharing these two data points and changing this misconception:

These numbers aren’t magic; they’re science! By analyzing bookings of over 4 million trips in 2013, Cheap Air discovered these patterns. The company also has detailed insights on the best and worst times to book, as well as more specific booking ranges for both domestic and international destinations.

Now you can’t use the excuse that it’s too expensive to travel. Hopefully I’ve inspired you to use these stats, plan a trip and continue creating a smarter and more connected planet.

Data did that.


A close-up on Anastasia:

Anastasia Medytska was born in Ukraine and grew up in downtown Manhattan. She attended Vanderbilt University where she studied Creative & Strategic Development, a self-designed major. She brings this mix of creativity and business strategy to her current role as a content strategist at the IBM Center for Applied Insights. Prior to IBM, she worked as an account strategist as Crowdtap. Aside from her passion for travel and discovery of new places (and foods!), Anastasia enjoys practicing photography, writing and design, and learning about tech startups, astronomy and branding. You can find her musings on these subjects and more via Twitter – @tweetstasia.

Fun fact: Anastasia was once on an episode of TRL and held up an imprint of 50 Cent’s hands for the camera.

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