There’s a giant wave headed toward us, and little we can do to prevent it. I’m talking about a tsunami of data that threatens to overwhelm every industry, but especially telecom.
As we gather more and more data from smartphones, applications, websites, networks, and customer databases, few of us know what to do about it. Now, certainly, there are ways to take advantage of this wealth of information; it’s just a matter of knowing what we’ve got and finding ways to leverage it.
Wrapping Our Arms Around the Problem
The problem isn’t simply that there’s more data than we can possibly process, but that’s a big component. It’s also that this data is collected in silos throughout a telecommunications organization. There’s little in the way of trying to connect the dots between departments and to reduce redundant content.
When you have that much duplicate content, it devalues the quality of that data. If it’s updated in one silo, who’s responsible for updating the other versions of that same document?
You want to analyze your data? Forget about it. You don’t have a system smart enough to sift through the piles of bits and bytes you’ve got to make any sense of it. So you just leave the piles and bury your head in the sand.
And then there’s the issue of storage. You might have have developed a storage solution to fit a couple of elephants’ worth of data, but what happens when you have infinite elephants that multiply daily?
Finding a Solution
Don’t worry too much; there are people who have been hard at work coming up with solutions for the Big Data problem. And the telecom industry is willing to pay for a solution.
In fact, according to Heavy Reading’s Big Data & Advanced Analytics in Telecom report, the industry will move from the $1.95 billion it spent on Big Data and analytics in 2013 to $9.83 billion in 2020.
That means you will (if you haven’t already) be looking for tools that help you quickly scan that data, sort it, and make sense out of it. You’ll invest in cloud storage solutions that help you scale as that mass of data grows.
Monetizing Big Data
And while solutions are already present that will help you ride that wave of data, the question is: how can you profit from it? The Heavy Reading report also dives into how telecom companies can use the power of Big Data to their advantage.
1. Monetize it. Brands like Telefónica O2 are figuring out how to provide valuable analytical insights to customers to help them become more effective. Using mobile network data, telecoms provide valuable details into shopping habits.
2. Sell Subscriber Insight Data. Other companies like AT&T are looking at selling aggregated customer data to marketing and advertising firms.
3. Advertise Smarter on Mobile. Still other brands are using Big Data to strengthen their mobile ad campaigns. SingTel recently acquired mobile advertising platform Amobee, in an effort to help clients better reach their target audience and deliver more relevant offers.
4. Better Analyze Set Top Box Data. Using the data that today’s sophisticated set top boxes offer may provide new revenue streams from targeted ad sales and more customized and personalized content services.
Imagine having the best of both worlds: having the tools to analyze the growing amount of data and content your business is generating, and also finding ways to make it profitable.
This deluge of data isn’t a threat; it’s a serious opportunity to take your telecom business in a new, exciting, and yes, profitable direction.