What the Heck is Big Data and Why Should Telecoms Care? - ETI

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August 19, 2016

What the Heck is Big Data and Why Should Telecoms Care?

In the last many years the telecom industry term big data has been used to represent any and every data set and grouping of data sets known to telecom service providers. We are all familiar with traditional telecom data as it relates selling service with individual markets to subscribers, the conventional financial data associated with that those sales and customer service interactions from support services and call center support teams. As Telecom service providers this data has been very helpful to us. We’ve all tracked this simple data to assist and shape our future customer service and revenue models. So what is the big deal about big data? Why is it important? And why do we need to know about it?


The concept of big data and its benefits have most recently come from the vast amounts of digital data now available to voice/video/data providers along with their new products and services. Is big data limited to just these new forms of information and the pieces of the market they represent? Of course not, and I would guess that your director of marketing, CIO or CMO would agree that the value here is the sum of all data that relates to customers and operations.

Why Is Big Data Important?

The plainest clarification of the big data campaign is that, in one respect it has to do directly with large amounts of data, while on the other hand the ability to run analytics on this data is imperative to actually having it.

Take a step outside of telecom for a second and look at the Facebook model. They know a lot about you: your favorite song, favorite book, favorite movie, close friends, your last internet search via Facebook, your family members on Facebook, where you work, your birthday…the list is endless. How important do you think their big data concept is to promoting their business and shaping what they present to the Facebook subscribers? The answer is clear. Step back into the telecom world now and lets talk about specific data. How valuable is it to telecom CFOs, CMOs, CIOs and the operations staff to have, at their fingertips…

  • Subscriber data: location, service packages, location, purchase trends, support calls.
  • Network data: general network health statistics, all network alarms, ONT tracking, HUB cabinet details and inventory.
  • Fiber Management Tracking: complete network design and details for every piece of network hardware in the outside plant infrastructure.
  • Workforce Mgmt data: Field tech service calls, installation schedules, service tech vehicle tracking, current service call status.
  • Marketing Statistics: subscriber ARPU, average household revenue, real estate data, census info and regional demographic info.

Tracking this data allows providers to run endless analytics to extract important info that can directly impact business operations and marketing campaigns. Network provisioning tools provide these analytics seconds after there is a problem – eliminating the onslaught of phone calls from disgruntled customers. So do you need to pay attention to big data? Absolutely. Creating more complex data queries throughout each department that hit multiple business systems will make or break your growth potential.