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Time for End-to-End Analytics

  • Posted by David Pringle
  • December 2, 2013 2:51 PM GMT

New analytical tools will boost communications service providers’ performance

In an increasingly data-driven economy, communications service providers are in an enviable position.

Most people interact with their mobile operator dozens of times every day, making calls, sending texts, browsing the web, opening apps and so on. These interactions are generating vast amounts of valuable data, which today remain largely untapped.

With their traditional business models under extraordinary pressure from both regulation and new competitors, now is the time for CSPs to harness their unrivalled data assets to boost both revenues and profits.

How can a CSP unlock this latent value in their business? Powerful end-to-end analytical tools, simple enough to be used by marketers, are the key.

Drawing on multiple sources

These tools need to be able to tap multiple data sources and segment consumers by usage level, ARPU, profitability, price plan, handset-type, location and many other parameters. The ability to segment in this way will enable CSPs to identify multiple opportunities to increase revenues.

"The CMO needs to understand the behavior of customers and the segmentation of customers," says Jacob Kedmi, former VP Marketing of Partner Communications, the Israeli entity of Orange, and a member of cVidya's Advisory Board. The data they need is coming from a lot of sources and is spread all over the organization.

For example, marketers may want to be able to track customers' social networking usage and figure out which customers might be interested in unlimited Twitter or Facebook usage for an additional fee. Or they could use data on calling patterns to figure out which customers are related and would be interested in shared data plans.

"Marketers want to see how many customers are using more or less than their bundle, so we can build packages that are profitable," adds Jacob Kedmi. "If you do it in the right way, you can make a lot of money. If you do it in the wrong way, you can lose a lot of money."

Tailoring offers to customers

CSPs can also use analytical tools to structure partnerships with third parties to cross-sell a combined package of services or provide highly valued customers with a better quality of service. For example, a sports content provider might be prepared to contribute to the cost of providing a fast connection to affluent sports fans of interest to its key advertisers. These consumers might then recommend the service to friends generating upside for both the telco and the content provider.

Data analytical tools can also be used to identify flaws in the CSPs' pricing structure - they can show which price plans have low or even negative margins. They can also be used to identify the patterns of behavior of customers who switch to a rival operator. The tools might show, for example, that many of the people churning consume large volumes of video, indicating they are either looking for a better quality connection or a better value data plan.

Equipping and empowering marketers

To help CSPs realize the full value of their customer data, cVidya has just launched a marketing analytics suite that draws on its trusted big data analytics technology and extensive experience – 150 operators worldwide have deployed cVidya's solutions, which process 150 billion data records a day. To give the CMO a complete view of the business, cVidya's applications can pull in data from numerous sources, including probes, data warehouses, customer relationship management (CRM), order management, mediation and billing systems, call detail records (CDRs), device databases, deep packet inspection (DPI) data and location systems.

"There aren't many competitive tools in the network, but this is one of them," says Jacob Kedmi. "With a drag and drop interface and pre-defined use cases, cVidya's analytics tool is much easier for marketers to use than a conventional BI tool."

cVidya's new marketing analytics suite is also designed to work with a CSP's existing data warehouses and business intelligence (BI) tools – they don’t need to rip out existing IT systems. "As no CIO has a single source of data, ease of integration with existing data warehouses and BI tools is vital," says Dr. Steffen Roehn, former CIO of Deutsche Telekom and a member of cVidya's Advisory Board. "CSPs are looking for analytical tools that can be deployed swiftly and can bring quick benefits for the marketing department, which have to work in a fast-moving competitive environment."

Given the need for speed, Dr. Steffen Roehn says the marketing department also needs to be able to configure analytical tools without having to go through the IT department. "The CIO must be the enabler, not the bottleneck," he stresses.

The new marketing analytics suite also leverages cVidya's ability to aggregate and analyze financial, marketing and business metrics, creating a truly comprehensive view that sevices multiple departments' business needs. For specific pre-defined use cases, the suite can even recommend next steps enabling marketers to exploit customer data that has traditionally been used solely for business protection purposes to upsell, cross-sell and lift the top-line.

The ultimate goal is to help CSPs tap every valuable piece of information within their business in a timely fashion. If it is harnessed in a smart way, that data will allow CSPs and their partners to build much deeper and more profitable relationships with customers. Now is the time for end-to-end marketing analytics.