The world’s most revolutionary technology

Manager of Portfolio Strategy, IBM

Hats off to Communication Services Providers! In a recent Forrester Research survey, big data for real-time analytics is now the second most revolutionary technology. The reason real-time analytics advanced from #3 to #2 is because of the sheer growth of communications across connected devices like smartphones and tablets. Pervasive wireless networks make computing possible all the time and when computing happens data also happens, and lots of it. 

Communications Services Providers (CSP) are forced to address the most enormous of big data challenges since many manage tens of billions of network events per day. It is truly an analyze-now-or-fail scenario. A significant hurdle is integrating structured subscriber data with more prolific and detailed mobile application behavior data. The insight that can be derived is in high demand from a spectrum of business stakeholders such as Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) and Chief Operations Officers (COOs).

The challenge isn’t easy. Successful CSP use a variety of techniques including streaming analysis, real time location algorithms, situational algorithms and predictive analytics in a massively parallel infrastructure. Easier said than done, isn’t it? Here are three tips to consider as you build out your real-time analytics strategy:  

  1. ibm_datagram_info_02_403x403.jpgStart with questions, not with data. Don’t get caught up in looking at what you can do with existing data.
  2. Start small and tie an analytics project to a specific outcome. Analytics for the sake of analytics is not helpful. Analytics will only be meaningful if you use the insights to deliver value.
  3. Build on what you have; think about how to expand existing platforms.

The explosion of mobile devices is ushering many new and surprising alliances. For example, who would have predicted that Sprint would team up with IBM and car manufactures? Who envisioned a world where services providers like restaurants and gyms would buy call data records from CSP? Would you be happy or freaked out if a maitre greeted you by name and was prepared with a menu catered to your tastes saying “I knew you were in the area.”

Working with CSP, IBM has identified six practical use cases of real-time analytics for communications services providers:

  1. Location-based services. Relevant and timely promotional offers based on location.
  2. Intelligent marketing campaigns. In seconds, a subscriber’s usage profile, billing data and past responses can be analyzed to create targeted promotions.
  3. Next best sales and service actions. Automatically authorize a call center representative to compensate a client for any problems.
  4. Social media monitoring and insights. Analyze ad effectiveness and brand reputation. Understand presale product buzz as well as post sale satisfaction.
  5. Network intelligence. Prevent dropped calls, anticipate equipment failure and understand where there might be surges.
  6. High-velocity fraud detection. Identify potential fraudulent activities as they happen, score them and rate the probability that they are fraudulent.

Do you have other use cases? Please share! As an IBMer, I am proud to be part of making the world’s most revolutionary technology a reality. 

For more, download Big data analytics for communications service providers, visit the InfoSphere Streams for telecommunications website and read about The Now Factory.