A predictive analytics tool can save your customers time and help the economy

Technical Writer

Your telecommunications company has its big data strategy down to a science. You collect data, mine it and then use it to provide personalized service, design targeted marketing campaigns and create partnerships. But are you getting the most benefit possible from your data analytics program?

If you are only focusing on how you can use your data internally, then the answer is no. Innovative companies should also be asking one more question: "How can we use a predictive analytics tool on our collected data to help other businesses better serve our customers?" When you take this extra step, you can actually improve your customers' overall quality of life and boost the local economy. This will help generate additional revenue for your own business.

A crystal ball in data form

Predictive analytics is the key to making your telecommunications company a hero. Everyone has wished that they could predict the future. While predictive analytics aren't foolproof, they are the closest thing to a crystal ball that the world has. Predictive analytics tools analyze data to determine customers' past behavior and then make educated predictions about future actions. Because knowing what customers will likely do next is a huge advantage in business, companies are quickly adding predictive analytics to their data toolkit.

A recent report from TDWI Research found that 54 percent of businesses surveyed were actively using or evaluating predictive analytics, up from 21 percent in 2007. As an example of this increased adoption, according to Data Informed, Redbox now uses predictive analytics to determine how many copies of a new release to stock at a specific location by analyzing that area's rental volume of similar movie types. Additionally, BAI reports that Wells Fargo uses analytics tools to predict how well a job candidate will perform at the job they are applying for.

But not all businesses have the collected data, tools and expertise to use predictive analytics. This is where your company can put on its superhero cape. By using predictive analytics on your data, you extract valuable insights that other businesses can use to grow, helping them provide value to your customers. You can package the results and sell valuable information to businesses, especially local restaurants and smaller retailers that do not have a predictive analytics tool. the playing field for local businesses

Data Informed reports that McDonald's has been using predictive analytics successfully for years to improve wait times, food quality and consumer satisfaction. However, the regional burger joint in your area with 10 locations most likely does not have access to the same level of data or a predictive analytics tool, and this puts them at a significant disadvantage. As a telecommunications provider, you have access to information about where customers go, the businesses they call and their social media activity. This data gives powerful insight into what your customers care about and what their daily life looks like.

It's no fun to have to drive two towns over to enjoy your favorite meal or buy the only brand of shoes that fits your son's double-wide feet. By providing businesses with information on their customers, like those who drive a considerable distance to visit a location, you can help them realize the potential revenue of opening another store closer to this customer base. The data can help pinpoint a specific location as well based on travel patterns and addresses.

Businesses often conduct considerable research before introducing new menu items or product lines. Because you already have information about which products your customers are currently purchasing, as well as the businesses that they frequent, you can help them predict the type of products that consumers will likely purchase. If an existing restaurant is weighing whether or not to add a new vegetarian section to the menu, it can be beneficial to know if a large portion of the customer base frequents a local vegetarian restaurant as well as the local farmers market.

It's often said that data is power, and that is even truer with predictive analytics. By seeing how this data can be used outside company walls, you're improving the community. The benefits of doing this are even greater for local businesses, your customers and your company.

See how IBM is using predictive analytics to better understand subscribers and visit the IBM Analytics for Telecommunications solution pages.