Business Intelligence: Adding Value and Providing a Competitive Edge in Telecommunications
Today’s digital telcos receive data from BSS, OSS, FSM, IoT, CRM and ERP systems, to name just a few. Handled correctly, this information can yield insight into device use, call records, equipment status, billing, network health, server activity and more. In short, it can be transformed into business intelligence.
Why is business intelligence important?
The telecommunications sector is fiercely competitive. CSPs need to make the right business decisions every day, and make them fast. Business intelligence helps them do just that. In addition, a business intelligence system fed by uniform, structured data from many sources can automatically predict, solve or prevent many network issues. One benefit of deploying predictive analytics with business intelligence is that it relieves the burden on planning and maintenance teams, optimizing their work at the same time. Another is that well-functioning networks that consistently deliver what customers require give operators an edge in this cut-throat market.
How business intelligence works in telecommunications
We’ve already mentioned the importance of unified, structured data. One function of a business intelligence solution is to facilitate this. The BI solution creates a “single source of truth”, collecting information from many sources and presenting data, suggested solutions, and so on via graphic reports and dashboards. The user has complete control over how this information is displayed, and even how much detail is presented.
In this way, the business intelligence solution can alert the telecommunications network operator to significant events for analytics purposes, and highlight potentially promising new business opportunities or adjustments. The result is improved operational efficiency, more effective marketing, and lower costs.
Practical use cases of business intelligence for telcos
We’ve already seen that business intelligence systems can help telecommunications companies with predictive analytics and maintenance. But that’s just one of the practical use cases.
Business intelligence can analyze data from many sources to suggest ways of improving the company’s understanding of its customers. This makes it relatively simple to segment the customer base, home in precisely on what each segment requires – and offer it to them in tailor-made form. And, when incidents are reported from the customer side, BI will automatically track and update the status of trouble tickets.
Deploying a BI solution helps managers understand their own business better too. Department heads can see at any given moment the real-time situation relating to customer numbers and satisfaction, new business, churn, sales, network activity, real vs. target KPIs and SLAs, and much more.
It was once a huge challenge for telcos to deliver service assurance in any meaningful way, as their focus was entirely on operating and maintaining networks with little or no maintenance data analysis. Business intelligence consigns this problem to history, letting operators monitor the entire system and providing insight into complex links between different kinds of information and events.
Finally, BI is an invaluable tool for successful 5G rollout and adaptation projects – and no telco will be able to avoid these. With a business intelligence solution, operators can monitor 5G rollout progress as a whole, or via filters such as geographical area or period of time.
What to look for in a business intelligence product and provider
Choosing a provider for any product or service means finding a company with a good track record and ability to meet your specific requirements. The business intelligence product itself must be able to integrate with your existing systems and any others that you may later deploy, and be scalable (up and down) in line with the fluctuating demands of your business. It should also meet the most rigorous security standards.
Your business intelligence solution should, as standard, simplify and automate the creation of reports based on the most recent available and applicable data from any source. It should always present information in clear, easy to understand format, and facilitate straightforward sharing across relevant departments and devices.
Obviously, the optimal business intelligence solution for telecommunications must be able to recognize business critical data automatically, and learn which information is most important.