Big data is big news in almost every industry, and telecom is no exception. The report “Big Data and Telecom Analytics Market: Business Case, Market Analysis & Forecasts 2014 – 2019” from Mind Commerce forecasts a 50% growth by 2019 in the big-data-driven telco analytics environment, which will deliver annual revenue of $5.4 billion. Apart from opening up a multitude of jobs for telecom data scientists, data will increasingly become a competitive differentiator for telcos.
What Data Driven Really Means
Many companies consider themselves data driven these days simply because they have a data management policy in place and are using big data to inform business decisions. That doesn’t quite cut it, however; to be truly “driven” by your data, everyone in the company needs access to intelligence gleaned from multiple sources. It should govern every executive resolution, and new strategies need to be weighed and evaluated against relevant data before being adopted by the business.
Building a Suitable Strategy
To develop a workable strategy for exploiting data and analytics to their fullest, telcos must be able to identify, combine and manage multiple data sources. They need to have the capability and technology to build advanced analytics models that predict and optimize outcomes, and critically, management has to have enough buy-in to transform the company to allow data and models to guide decisions.
Reaping the Benefits
The benefits of becoming data driven are significant for companies in the telecom industry, according to a survey by McKinsey and Company. By using analytics models, telcos can predict heavy network usage caused by video streaming and implement measures to relieve congestion during those periods. Combining machine learning with sociodemographic data, statistics from customer interactions via call centers and social media, and data usage can help:
- Identify customers who might be preparing to transfer providers, or have difficulty paying their account,
- Improve payment recoveries by up to 35%, and
- Cut customer churn rates by 3 percentage points.
This enables companies to improve client service and address problem areas before they reach critical mass.
The telecom industry is constantly growing, with new players coming onto the field daily. A data driven strategy enables you to identify popular services and what works best for the majority of clients. By creating look-alike audience personas, you can find ways to target new groups. This helps your marketing and sales teams expand your reach in new areas based on actual past results.
Taking the Plunge
Becoming a data driven telecommunications company requires a major cultural shift. Some believe it’s necessary to prioritize maintaining the integrity and quality by tracking any and all changes. Data access should not be limited to IT personnel, but decision-makers must become familiar with systems and processes so they can get the business intelligence they need directly from the source. This helps prevent having “different versions of the truth” floating around.
Contact ATS for more information on big data analytics for your telco.