Why big data is the key to success in the telecoms industry

Australia’s telecommunications industry has a lot to gain from embracing big data.
Companies in this industry have been capturing and transporting huge amounts of data for years, but much of this data was discarded due to an inability to mine real value from it.
The cost of storing the data for future use or analysis was also too high. This data that is available to be captured includes customer calling patterns, wireless data usage, location data, network bandwidth statistics, and even the individual apps and web pages accessed by mobile devices – all of which could prove to be incredibly valuable for both telcos and customers if analysed appropriately.
The role of big data technologies and platforms is clear, especially when combined with streaming analytics and analytics at scale. The combination of data and analytics are enabling Australian telcos to uncover significant new insights about their infrastructure and their customers.
Gain loyal customers with big data
Where the telecom sector was once a highly regulated industry, this has changed in recent years and it is now a free-for-all for telcos in a highly saturated market. The industry has become so competitive that Australian carriers must be always on the look-out for competitors trying to poach their customers. Encouraging customers to switch providers has never been easier especially considering the historically negative reputation of businesses and their services in the telecommunications industry.
With customers having more choice and options than ever before, customer service has become a main priority for all providers. Big data analytics can help carriers understand customer behaviours and interests at a micro level. For example, big data solutions allow carriers additional metrics for churn analysis, which alerts organisations to patterns that customers may be on the precipice of defection.
Moreover, automated software now makes it possible for companies to create unified views of their customers composed of feedback from phone calls, email, social media, and even in-store visits. By applying data analytics to these rich profiles, telecom companies can group customers by category and mass customise marketing programs and offers to them.
For example, heavy data users may be presented with bonus bandwidth or coupons for free streaming video, while customers with modest data needs may be offered discount upgrade incentives.
Analysing social media activity is also a valuable way to detect at-risk customers. Telcos can use big data analytics to monitor online sentiment and match usernames to customer accounts – pinpointing dissatisfied customers and giving companies an opportunity to intervene before losing the customer.
Keep safe with data
Australia’s telecommunications industry is a regulated industry and service provider networks are major targets for attackers. Big data can play an important role to ensure the safe management of telcos’ data.
These telecommunications providers must comply with industry-wide standards in areas like service levels, availability, pricing, and coverage and as such must monitor huge amounts of data. If they do not, there are huge penalties and demands for audits can have deadlines of less than 48 hours.
Data analytics is increasingly becoming more important in the evolving security landscape and addressing regulatory requests was previously thought of as a labour intensive task. Forward thinking telecom providers must invest in big data in order to gain insight into their operations and in the case of any regulatory requests quick retrieval is a necessity. Australian telcos are able to reuse big data technologies to also better understand their own operations, flag potential regulatory violations, and correct them quickly.
For example, we’re seeing security information and event management or SIEM becoming more popular across telecom companies. SIEM’s real-time analytics monitors security alerts generated by network hardware and applications and constantly compares network activity to normal traffic patterns – meaning that anomalies suggesting penetration of fraud are caught quickly.
Big data and its analysis is proving to be essential in the growth and continued success of telcos. Not only is there a clear bottom line impact, considering that globally the industry loses over $38 billion to fraud every year but the benefits of investing in big data goes beyond revenue impact.
As Australian telecom companies increasingly begin to expand into other industries such as cloud hosting or managed services, customer satisfaction will very much depend on their ability to secure their networks. And by investing in big data, telcos will be able to set themselves apart in what is becoming an increasingly competitive industry.
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