I am constantly told that data is paramount. I’m not quite sure.
it is more technically incorrect
Sometimes the evidence of my own eyes and life experience—subjective data, you might call it—will always win over a startup founder creating a spreadsheet, graph, or trumpet.
I wonder what you might think of a site for eyesores who want to make your life more beautiful?
When I first saw DataScalp — I know the name doesn’t sound beautiful — I wondered if the creator’s own eyes and life experience could be that much.
The name may make some think, “Dear Lord, why?” And the site looks like, well, a forgotten mess from the less creative era of 1997.
However, DataScalp’s mission is, yes, to make your flight experience better thanks to data. Information provided not by DataScalp, but by unfortunate people like you who have endured terrible flight experiences.
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What the site provides is cancellation time for airline cancellations, baggage accuracy, on-time fulfillment and refunds.
But I ask you, can’t you find all these things on the internet anymore? Is this information no longer available? And perhaps most importantly, given that Americans have few real options when flying, will this data influence any human behavior?
I asked Dwight Harris Jr., founder of DataScalp, about some of my doubts.
He told me, “This content is based on inferential statistics to mimic data that airlines actually have but keep. DataScalp’s content is based on commodity services. It’s not taste-based like Yelp, it’s subjective, and it doesn’t allow ranking.”
He also made an interesting point: “Consumers gravitating to good performers creates an abundance of inventory for airlines, which drives down prices. So through DataScalp, consumers are literally influencing prices like no other platform.”
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I wonder if that will happen.
And the name? A bit controversial isn’t it?
Not to Wright Jr.: “You’re getting a scalp ticket, so DataScalp removes the uncertainty around data. Finding any company name and website with the word data extremely difficult. DataScalp as a name is a godsend.”
Who am I to argue when God is called?
But the airlines have got their act together now, haven’t they? At least that’s what the airlines say. Why, the Thanksgiving season seemed relatively quiet. Even Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg thought so.
Ah, but Harris Jr. insists things are about to get worse. He told me, “The only reason Thanksgiving travel was relatively easy was because climate change provided a relatively warm November. But the airlines didn’t change anything. So when the weather gets colder, it’s going to add to the problems that are always there.”
Yes, but it’s always been that way, hasn’t it? Especially on the east coast. Nothing can change the changing tides of storms.
Harris Jr. disagrees. He said: “Airlines won’t change until we get valid customer feedback that can’t be hidden or hidden in one of our customer feedback forms. DataScalp is poised to solve an ugly, if not pretty, problem: Airline travel.”
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Admittedly, it’s hard to see how the collected opinions of angry American flyers can make any difference. It never happened. Airlines know you can complain all you want, but when four airlines own more than 80% of the seats, you have to take what you can get and be thankful you got to your destination.
Maybe this winter DataScalp will take off. In signature Hark Harris Jr. tones: “Winter is coming for the airline industry. I expect December travel to be one of the worst yet.”
I guess you have nothing to lose by submitting your thoughts to this new Reddit of Air. And the younger Wright insists his site will change human behavior. (Yes indeed.)
“I worked on Wall Street for ten years,” he said. “I have successfully changed corporate behavior at the highest levels. This approach has been proven to work.”
But of course. Corporations are people too, right?