Inside IDeaS

Happy Revenue Science Day!

In honor of the shared birthday of IDeaS’ founders, we’ve declared August 8th as Revenue Science Day.

Sure, it might not have the obvious appeal of National Doughnut Day among office workers, but the story of the people who’ve inspired it is worth knowing.

IDeaS was founded by computer scientists Dr. Ravi Mehrotra and Sanjay Nagalia in 1989, but the origin story of these revenue tech titans goes back even further. Ravi and Sanjay first met on a train on their way to the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur. Along with sharing the same birthday, August 8th, they discovered an endless number of other commonalities and became fast friends.

They would go their separate ways after college, with Ravi earning a Ph.D. and teaching electrical and computer engineering at North Carolina State University and Sanjay earning an advanced degree and building a career in product development with several global businesses.

Some years later, and by complete chance, the dynamic duo reconnected in Chicago and bonded once again—this time over their shared conviction of technology’s superiority in optimizing revenue for businesses facing unpredictable demand fluctuations. This mutual passion for applying scientific reasoning and quantitative data analysis to remove ambiguity and improve speed and accuracy was the spark they needed to partner together and build a startup company.

Built on the premise of using computers to automate tactical human decision-making, they formed Decision Systems—changed shortly thereafter to Integrated Decisions and Systems, Inc., or “IDeaS” for short. IDeaS was the start of a journey to forever change revenue management, ridding its dependence on gut feelings for a more objective approach.

Revenue Science Drives Growth, Results for IDeaS

Ravi and Sanjay admit they had a reputation as “mad scientists” at first. But that reputation was soon augmented as they began to prove how IDeaS’ technology could significantly grow revenue and improve efficiencies, first with a route optimization platform built for Northwest Airlines (now Delta) and now with industry-leading revenue management tools for hotels.

In the early days of IDeaS’ shift to working in the hospitality industry, Ravi and Sanjay worked intently to scientifically explore the industry and understand the specific challenges of hotel businesses. They reverse-modeled everyday revenue problems to understand each factor and its business impact. Focusing first on length of stay and overbooking, their earliest systems were a success, but IDeaS’ growing team suspected the true revenue problem for hotels involved pricing—specifically price versus demand.

Advances in data analytics and processing power would soon confirm this suspicion, and IDeaS software began equipping hotel revenue managers to use pricing as a lever to calibrate demand. This empowered revenue managers and other close stakeholders to make profitable decisions regarding which guests should be granted rooms and at what rate.

By combining the power of empirical science, predictive analytics, advanced mathematics, and sophisticated technology, they pioneered revenue science and were instrumental in shaping the future of the hotel industry.

A History of Revenue Science Success Worth Celebrating

The story of IDeaS is one of ceaseless evolution and reinvention, driven by passionate, curious people. Our methods and applications have been tested and proven, time and again, and get better with each iteration to maintain a finely tuned ecosystem of algorithms, industry knowledge, and decision empowerment.

Our solutions are built upon decades of discovery and refinement. Our history, industry leadership, and unparalleled client success gives us full confidence in the ability of our systems to provide our clients with precise, data-driven decisions they can trust. Remember, “decisions” is, after all, our middle name.

Now, as we celebrate their birthdays and Revenue Science Day, we salute all they’ve achieved and all that revenue science represents. From strangers on a train to leaders of the most trusted revenue solutions provider for the global hospitality industry, our trailblazing founders have made an incredible journey thus far—and continue to push us all toward exciting new frontiers.

Happy birthday to Ravi and Sanjay—and happy Revenue Science Day to all!

Photograph of Sanjay Nagalia and Dr. Ravi Mehrotra standing side by side

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