Telcos are sitting on rich data mines in their signaling traffic and their users’ smartphones. The challenge, says George Zhao, marketing director of ZSmart Big Data at ZTEsoft, is knowing how to extract it and how to use it effectively.
Big Data Insights: Operators are clearly sitting on lots of useful data - what’s preventing them from using it effectively?
George Zhao: Even though all operators have been talking about big data, most of them are still facing inevitable challenges when exploiting the value of big data. One such challenge is lack of organization readiness. Due to the disruptive changes brought by big data, operators have to evolve their organizations accordingly - department structure, business model, decision-making process, cross-team interaction strategy, orchestration mechanism of the entire eco-system, skilled resource, etc.
Another inevitable challenge is isolated and/or tangled ownership of the data. Under the traditional business model, the different aspects of data usually belong to separate objects - locations, departments, or systems. Therefore, the isolated silos of data cannot provide a comprehensive view to operators.
Yet another challenge is the immaturity of privacy and security control. When cyber life becomes an important part of our real life, customers are really concerned about their privacy and security, because big-data analytics may bring side effects threatening their real life.
One source of actionable data for operators is signaling traffic - how can they leverage that data and what can they use it for?
The signaling data is obviously valuable, because it contains first-hand and real-time raw data of per-session or per-user traffic: customer, terminal, region, duration, experience, traffic, etc. This data can be used in several aspects, such as network O&M, network optimization marketing & sales and customer service support.
For example, the network department can use signaling data to enable more comprehensive CEI (based on KQIs and KPIs) in real-time to cover multiple dimensions, such as illustrating customer behavior via historical statistics, simplifying the process of tracing and locating the problem and monitoring service usage of specific customer segmentations, as well as, of course, network optimization.
Meanwhile, the marketing/sales department can use it for providing real-time insight of customer behaviors, personalizing offers for specific customers, and Improving the customer experience accordingly.