Big Data generates big opportunities for CSPsBig Data generates big opportunities for CSPs
Recent global big data research found that 83 percent of communications companies agree that big data has the potential to provide a significant source of value to the business.
June 1, 2015
Telecoms.com periodically invites expert third-party contributors to submit analysis on a key topic affecting the telco industry. In this piece Chris Howarth and Arnab Chakraborty of Accenture look at some ways gathering and analyzing data can help CSPs.
Global communications service providers (CSPs) are well positioned to exploit the rapid growth in data and advances in big data technology. When analytics strategies are pursued and data-driven decisions are made, CSPs can unlock new opportunities for themselves, their industries and their customers.
Recent global big data research found that 83 percent of communications companies agree that big data has the potential to provide a significant source of value to the business. Following are three ways data and analytics can drive value for CSPs.
Improving customer experience
By analyzing a much greater breadth and depth of data – whether gathered internally from the enterprise or externally from social media, sensors, or other sources – businesses can gain more insight into their customers’ wants, needs, and expectations.
As one approach, CSPs can draw on data segmentation techniques to assess their customers in granular detail to develop and offer them highly personalized offers based on their interests. In fact, some CSPs are now analyzing customer device and location data to uncover insights that enable them to offer premium services in real time. For example, CSPs might offer a particular data plan to sports fans, but a different package to film buffs.
Data insights can also allow CSPs to identify those customers at risk of defecting. Once this finding is uncovered, CSPs can formulate a data-driven strategy to deliver on their needs —providing them with an improved customer experience that can earn back their loyalty.
Boosting operational effectiveness
As the use of smartphones and other mobile devices continues to proliferate globally, many CSPs are struggling to cope with the growing pressure on their infrastructure. They must also battle to prevent network outages and service quality issues that can potentially arise from increased consumer demand for video and audio services.
The more advanced organizations are using real-time insights from big data to help them address these challenges. By analyzing how and when consumers are using their different devices, it becomes much easier for CSPs to identify pressure points and areas that might be vulnerable in an operator’s infrastructure.
Data insights can be also used to drive much more effective decisions at the end consumer level to help CSPs optimize their network resources and minimize their network capex/opex spend. The insights gathered can be used by CSPs to guide customers on their usage habits – for example, advising them to avoid bandwidth-consuming activity at certain times of the day to improve the utilization of network resources.
Creating new revenue sources
The consumer data that CSPs can access presents a monetization opportunity because their insights can offer a huge value to other organizations across sectors. As an example, retailers are working with CSPs to produce more targeted promotions and store openings, based on an enhanced, data-driven understanding of consumer habits in urban centers and shopping malls.
Additionally, CSPs have the opportunity to generate new revenue streams through the creation of digital and connected services, such as the connected home, vehicle, building, or worker. By leveraging machine-to-machine data and applying analytical insights, CSPs can establish new business models and deliver new digital services to its customer base. Through the connected vehicle, for example, CSPs can monetize their data by helping providers make data-driven timely and targeted communications and offers to drivers, on everything from traffic information to details of service stations on the road ahead.
Given the telecom industry’s immersion in nearly every aspect of digital life, access to big data could become the value-generating lifeblood to fuel the industry’s continued health and expansion. As a resource, data represents multiple opportunities for CSPs to materially impact their business performance, unlocking real-time insights that can drive revenue growth, cost efficiency and reduce churn. The CSPs that take advantage of these data-driven possibilities will be well-placed to compete in an increasingly demanding marketplace.
Chris Howarth is a managing director and communications industry lead for Accenture in the UK and Ireland. With around 18 years’ experience in telecoms, he has spent his career working with mobile and fixed line operators, within the UK and globally. He has delivered large scale business and technology transformation programmes within the industry, more recently moving into client account leadership for Accenture’s largest communications industry clients in the UK.
Arnab Chakraborty is a managing director at Accenture Analytics, which is part of Accenture Digital. He is the global analytics lead for Accenture’s communications, media and entertainment industry and is responsible for Accenture’s analytics business in Europe across Austria, Switzerland & Germany. With more than 16 years of experience in consulting and business analytics across diverse industry sectors, Arnab has significant leadership experience in strategy formulation, business solutions, client management, business development, service delivery and operations management.
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