Southwest and Big Data

Looking back on the project, I think I could have spent a little more time evolving my topic. I knew that I wanted to do my presentation on something that related to my field of study, Aerospace Engineering. And, I knew that there was a lot of data in the airline industry, so I thought I could merge the two. After researching how the two related, I came upon how Southwest uses big data and decided to use this as my idea. I quickly found all the information I could on the topic, which wasn’t enough, but I was too far into the project to change the topic. I stuck by what I had already came up with and decided to add a little more on how the airplane itself gathers data. So, I looked up what sensors an airplane might use and came up with this sensor:


This water vapor sensor shows what an airplane’s data can do for itself and other fields, such as weather forecasting. The picture shows what a sensor might look like and all the parts involved with it. Since it would be hard to verbally tell what the sensor looks like and how it works, I added this picture to give the audience the image that my words could not create. My argument for this whole project was meant to be what data Southwest collects and how it creates a safer, more efficient, and more customer friendly airline. There was not as much information behind this as I thought there would have been. I thought the part about them teaming up with NASA was really interesting though. Southwest did not release too much information on how they maintain such customer satisfaction other than that they partnered with Aspect to analyze speech and social media to see what their customers want. All this data did work though because in the end, they do have the least amount of complaints.


It is amazing how they have such a low number of complaints and such a high number of customers. This visual shows that even airlines that have less customers have much more complaints. Other than Delta, all other big airlines, such as Virgin, US Airways, American Airlines, and United, have many more complaints. Adding this image to the Pecha Kucha gave the audience more of an idea of what the other popular airlines’ customer satisfaction was like.

If I were to do this project again, I would have given myself more time and come to office hours to talk about how I could formulate my argument/topic better. If I had done that, my presentation would have been much better.


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