Big data generates trio of big opportunities

Arnab Chakraborty and Neil Morgan/Accenture
05 May 2014

Global communications service providers (CSPs) are well placed to exploit advances in big data and analytics. Why? Because they sit at the convergence point between industries and customer segments and can act as a conduit for information exchange between those worlds. By making better use of data that is generated across devices, every second of every day, CSPs can unlock new opportunities for themselves, their industries and their consumers.

Specifically, they can do this by applying analytics to big data, with an eye toward achieving three significant benefits.

1. Understanding customers

One important use of data lies in the defense against subscriber churn. By analyzing a much greater breadth and depth of data, ranging from customers' usage patterns to their comments on social media, businesses are able to gain a better view of their customers. This allows CSPs to identify those at risk of defecting and to formulate a strategy to deliver on their needs, in real time, and earn their loyalty.

One company in the Asia-Pacific region, China Telecom Xinjiang, launched an initiative to establish a long-term research organization to regularly capture customer perception of its services, combined with processes to generate actionable items from these customer insights. In addition to higher customer satisfaction ratings and reduced customer churn, China Telecom Xinjiang's initiative improved the efficiency of its customer service operations, driving reduced operating cost.

Further opportunities lie in data-enabled personalization for both consumer and corporate customers. Through data segmentation techniques, CSPs can assess their customers in much more granular detail, and offer them highly personalized offers that are tailored to the way they use services. The experience of CSPs that have employed these methods suggest that response rates to personalized offers may be as much as 250% higher than for the more generalist campaigns of the past.

The most forward-looking CSPs are now analyzing customer device use - from web browsing to social media activity - and location data to offer premium services in real time. Armed with the deeper insights generated from this data, CSPs can target users with more customized services to which they are likely to be more receptive. This might be a particular data plan for sports fans, for example, but a different package for film buffs.

Early work suggests it may be possible to improve revenue per customer metrics by as much as 10% with these personalized offers for premium services.

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