This blog is by Claudio Frascoli at Nokia Siemens Networks.
The reports that Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign relied heavily on big data insight clearly ramped up the hype about big data. If big data can be decisive in the election of the President of theUnited States, then it would seem the sky’s the limit!
Reality check – try Googling “big data definition*” and you’ll get over 80 million hits. “Big data hype” is just shy of the 50 million mark. This is by no means a scientific poll, but it’s certainly a popular attraction right now. Big data is a powerful technology enabler, but we need to understand exactly which challenges it allows us to address.
In a previous article titled ‘Exit big data. Enter right data’ on this site, we discussed the risks of big data projects that don’t start with clear and realistic objectives. This is the first and fundamental step, one that can mean the success or failure of a big data project. Many operators around the globe are looking at ways to use big data. On the one hand, they see that many solutions are available that allow them to effectively store and analyze the vast amount of data they collect from the network, devices, customers and other sources. On the other hand, they realize this is just part of the story and that, in order to realize a quick return on investment, there must be a clear objective in sight – with specific use cases and a well-defined scope.
One mobile operator in the Middle East has shared its perception of big data. It sees it as an enabler, with customer experience management (CEM) as the end game. This is an area where big data technology can shine, as long as the project is carefully aligned with strategic objectives, the operator organization, and business processes. In fact, of all the possible big data applications in the telecom space, customer experience management is one of the most promising and deserves all the attention it’s getting. Certainly a commitment to CEM is a good start, but to achieve concrete results requires a very clear understanding of where improvements are needed. For instance, some operators see a need to improve quality of service, while others may be looking at customer care or the point of sale experience. In every case, clear objectives are necessary to define the right data to collect and analyze in order to trigger real-time actions.
So before you decide to ride the big data wave, it’s important to know where you want to go. In other words, set your sights on a specific set of objectives, know your customers as well as your network, and make sure the organization is aligned to achieve your goals. When all these elements are in place, big data technology will provide a phenomenal ride. Exactly as it did in November 2012 for President Obama.
*We have linked to Gartner’s definition here.