VanillaPlus Magazine, December 2015
Big Data holds considerable promise but utilisation of the insights it can reveal has been held back by several factors. One reason for this is that there is such a large volume of data, identifying what matters can be difficult. While everyone knows that Big Data offers huge potential, the issue has been, where to start? With so much data available, it’s hard to see the wood for the trees. It can also seem dauntingly complex, intelligible only to data scientists and other specialists.
This has changed. Today, Communications Service Providers (CSPs) are showing signs that Big Data strategies and plans have reached maturity by accelerating deployment of solutions that enable them to begin to capitalise on this rich resource. The difference driving this gathering momentum is that there are now clearly identifiable targets that enable a step-by-step approach to the implementation of Big Data strategies.
Many CSPs, for example, have chosen to focus on Subscriber Analytics as the first step in their Big Data strategies. This is because Subscriber Analytics is believed to offer the greatest potential to deliver rapid returns, enabling them to build better relationships with subscribers, among other benefits.
There’s a simple reason for this: a deep understanding of customer behaviour, while fundamental to business success, has traditionally been an expensive and imprecise discipline. Imprecise, because extrapolation from the few to the many is no guarantee of accuracy; and expensive, because efforts to obtain statistically significant data from which more accurate conclusions can be drawn, can be exceedingly costly.
While isolated data sets can deliver insight, conclusions that can be drawn may not be sufficiently representative. For CSPs, the ability to obtain accurate, timely insight into what customers actually do from a sufficiently broad sample base provides an unparalleled opportunity to not only deliver better service and support, but also to reduce the costs of customer research. Big Data provides the constant flood of real-time, objective information about customer behaviour that makes this possible. The difficulty has been to make this information available to the many, not just data scientists.
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