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Written by Thirumal Akkinepally
on 21 Aug 2017

In today’s data-driven world, communications service providers (CSPs) can use their data goldmine to understand consumers’ behavior and habits. From information on who your customers are, to where they are, when they’re connecting, and what they’re downloading-big data can help answer key questions.

The large volume of data available across all channels holds priceless information about your network and customer activity. Smart businesses are leveraging this information to understand customer behavior better, offer personalized products and services, and solve everyday challenges. This not only positively impacts customer experience, but also enhances customer loyalty and advocacy indicators like Net Promoter Score.

 

Learning from the Disruptors

More than just facts and figures, big data can provide critical insights that help shape informed business decisions. Companies such as Facebook, Google, and Netflix aggressively use data to drive many of their product decisions.

With more than 1.2 billion daily users, Facebook gathers data on the topics and trends its users like or dislike. By analyzing likes, shares, comments, the types of articles people read, and the time spent reading those pages, Facebook is able to generate personalized news feeds enhancing their user experience.

Netflix tracks what viewers watch, how much they watch, and for how long, to determine what shows and movies each viewer might enjoy. Netflix can then make personalized suggestions based on customer preferences. It also helps the company decide what types of content to invest in.

These major players have demonstrated that while big data provides a wealth of information, what matters is how businesses leverage and optimize that information.

 

Choose the Right Approach to Analytics

The volume of data your business holds may initially seem overwhelming, but a strategic approach can set you on the right path. First consider the issues that you want to address, then choose a problem-solving approach that best aligns with those issues.

When it comes to using data to solve challenges, there are two options data analysts can take. A top-down approach isolates challenges within organizations and seeks out the data to solve specific issues. This includes identifying and analyzing information critical to answer the question-what are customers interested in?

For example, if a CSP knew customers were experiencing poor reception due to high phone traffic, it could use a top-down approach to isolate and upgrade the network in these locations.

Alternatively, a bottom-up method gives operators a more complete, transparent view of their customers. This allows the process to reveal patterns that haven't been previously considered, which enables new and more profitable ways of capturing and retaining customers.

 

Change the Way You Think

To deliver a timely, innovative, and desirable user experience, CSPs need to put themselves in their customers’ shoes. Ask questions such as what are consumers interested in? How and when do they use different services? What challenges are they facing?

Operators looking towards the future should consider the following questions:

  • How fast is the connection speed?
  • What are the areas of congestion that impact user experience?
  • Which areas struggle with phone reception?
  • Did the call go through or fall out?
  • How fast did the song or app download?
  • What was the response time like while the user was playing the game or watching the video?
  • Why have users stopped using certain products or services?

Answering these questions can help improve aspects of your network or service that you may not have realized are causing issues for your customers. By combining marketing, financial, sales, and customer data you can get a clear picture of what works and what needs a different approach.

 

Apply the Data in Real Life

The true value of data can be seen in real-world applications. For instance, French telecom SFR used data to help drive blood donations. The organization sent SMS messages to its customers who were in the vicinity of blood donation vehicles, encouraging them to give blood.

SFR also helped Paris improve its public transport infrastructure. This was made possible by analyzing the behavior of its users, SFR identified areas of traffic congestion in Paris and was able to make recommendations about which areas needed more services.

Historical data can be used to support real-time activities. In fact, one global mobile carrier used its data to identify patterns and behaviors of more than 10 million users. This increased the carrier’s ability to target and interact with its clients. The tool helped address issues such as dropped calls or low WiFi coverage, allowing the company to respond immediately when these issues occurred.

Big data presents a window of opportunity to the telecommunications industry. It allows providers to gain a broad picture of their operations and their customers, enabling them to tailor their innovation and support initiatives accordingly.

By acting now to capitalize on the insights held within the vast volume of big data they hold, CSPs may find themselves better equipped to improve customer experiences, drive new products and services, predict future trends, and most importantly increase revenues.

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