Telcos Don't Know How To Use Big Data

The term 'big data' gets bandied about a lot these days, often as little more than a lazy rebranding of what we used to call business intelligence (BI) or analytics. One category of companies that should have masses of big data is telecommunications providers, but a recent study suggests they're not taking advantage of all that information.

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Research firm Analysys Mason says that 27 per cent of communication service providers have no strategy for mining their customer and network data for insights. That's despite the fact that these networks generate enormous volumes of data: by Analysys Mason's reckoning, more data has been generated in this sector over the last two years than in the preceding 50.

There's also sufficient variety in the data to make it a potential source of new insights. "The data has volume (there is lots of it), variety (from call logs to M2M sensor data, it is extremely varied), velocity (it can be gathered in real time) and value (if structured and analysed correctly, it can be extremely valuable and profitable)," analyst Patrick Kelly said in a statement.

So what's the holdup? One potential factor is the lack of IT staff who can effectively manage this kind of project: we've noted on more than one occasion that improving your analytics skills is a sure-fire way of advancing your career right now. Another is likely to be the shrinking margins in most phone and internet services, which make finding funding for new analysis systems challenging.


    Neither do banks or utilities. Because, why bother when your oligopoly is working just fine!

    PICTURE HEADLINE: Vodafone's newest, cutting edge data centre opened yesterday. Malcolm Turnbull was particularly impressed, says "this should be our NBN".

    Last edited 07/02/13 9:24 am

    Really ? I thought it was Stephen Conroy at the finalisation of the NBN rollout.

    PICTURE HEADLINE - circa 2040
    I'm so proud - when I signed the contract for the NBN back in the early 2000's this equipment was state of the the art and was only going to cost $45 billion. I think we've got a real bargain for the $150 billion we actually spent and I look forward to the day when we see some economic benefit from the $150 billion of taxpayers money.

    It always amazed me at how far behind telco's are with this kind of thing. They have a network where they move HEAPS of data through.. but that's as far as it goes.

    Things like.. if you go over your phone's data usage allowance.. u won't know your 200% over till you a) get your bill and b) at worst case 1-2 days after you've gone over where u get an SMS or something notify you, that you should have received just as you do go over your limit not several days after..

    That's just one example (all that being a pet peeve of mine with the big telco's).

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