Big Data’s Relevance in the Telecommunications Industry

Big data. Data analytics. Data automation. These phrases are commonly floating around in conferences, blog posts, and strategy meetings. But what exactly do revenue assurance, cost and margin leaders, and their groups need concerning data, and how do they get started?

Here are some common challenges we’ve heard:

  • With analytics still in its early stages in many organizations, executives find it challenging to obtain skilled talent, consolidate data, and find adequate data-processing tools.
  • A shortage of internal data talent makes it difficult for executives to handle the analytical demands of their teams.
  • Often, executives know they need a data solution, but they don’t know the solution or how to find it.
  • Several executives are frustrated at the lack of effective data solutions available from providers. Antiquated systems are unable to keep up with modern demands.

Data is no buzz word; used correctly, it has the potential to transform processes and organizations. All branches of telecommunications should be actively incorporating analytics and seeking innovative solutions to combat becoming obsolete.

Here are some ways to get started.

First, discuss your department’s “known unknowns”, or opportunities that are identified but haven’t been solved. This is the first step in discussing how to utilize data analytics. Also note the possibility of “unknown unknowns”, or opportunities that aren’t identified until the data reveals them.

Next, evaluate your resource needs. In terms of hiring, most executives are seeking either dedicated data scientists or existing talent with some analytics skills. Some only need one dedicated data resource for their department’s needs, while others need resources with a combination of business knowledge and data skills. Consider what would work best with budget and training restrictions.

Once data analytics resources are obtained, consider the following examples of how executives are utilizing the field:

  • Monitoring certain variables in their billing systems to extract millions in cost savings
  • Applying analytics to the auditing process, increasing the efficiency of data delivery and thus reducing data storage requirements
  • Attaching analytics tools to existing Hadoop systems
  • Retiring SharePoint system and data warehouse in order to migrate to customized systems
  • Partnering with a consulting firm to develop an internal UI tool for better data analysis

Important note while utilizing data analytics: People typically try to make the data come to a certain conclusion. Skilled data analysts let the data naturally provide insights.

Data analytics is a broad field, and can encompass many tasks. But make no mistake; it is a necessary department to move along and beyond the current trends of the telecommunications industry.