How much can companies in the telecommunications industry benefit from “big data”? That’s a critical question. Every operator is searching for new ways to increase revenues and profits during a time of stagnant growth in the industry, but few have demonstrated the capabilities needed to make the most of this new technology. That’s why operators seeking to make initial inroads with big data are advised to avoid the usual top-down approach, which sets up a business problem to be solved and then seeks out the data that might solve it. This method does have benefits, but it is unlikely to lead to any serendipitous and surprising results — and it is difficult to execute until a company has demonstrated mastery in its use of data.
Instead, operators should begin with the data itself, experimenting with what they have on hand to see what kinds of connections and correlations it reveals. This process must be carried out quickly and iteratively, without the overbearing oversight from which so many business development projects suffer. If it’s done right, what emerges can form the basis for more efficient operations and more effective marketing. At its best, this bottom-up method can give operators a more complete, transparent view of customers, enabling new and more profitable ways of capturing and retaining them.