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What is Big Data + 4 Key Components You Shouldn’t Ignore

The rise and acceleration of digital transformation within the telecommunications industry have seen an increase in Telcos’ use of big data and data analytics. Telcos are using the insights provided by big data and advanced analytics to enhance operations, reduce churn and provide a competitive edge in a crowded market. We dive deeper into the key components of big data and how this is being used to enhance advanced analytics to drive Telco business growth and profitability. 

big data

The rise of big data 

The shift towards digital transformation has meant that many Telcos are investing in different technology and software solutions to improve operations by utilising data collected from many different sources and locations. 

In recent times, thanks to digital transformation, data sources have become more complex compared to what we may have seen traditionally. The reason is that data sources are being driven by artificial intelligence (AI), mobile devices, Google, social media (like Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and the Internet of Things (IoT). In simple terms, more and more data is now being collected from several more data sources in real-time. These sources include sensors, devices, video/audio, networks, log files, transactional applications, web, and social media. In this way, big data refers to the accelerating volumes of data sets of information assets from several different data sources which are stored in data warehouses and databases. 

The telecommunications industry uses these data structures and sets to store customer information relating to demographics, locations, sales, and more. Telcos can then utilise this big data to provide valuable insight into different aspects of their business. Think of big data as the key that unlocks the door to elements that can enhance decision-making and increase your profitability, operational efficiency, and revenue. 

To take full advantage of big data and unlock the door to its potential, the data first needs to be collected, captured, organised and translated into valuable and meaningful insights that you can utilise to enhance elements related to your business. This is where Advanced Analytics takes centre stage. 

big data

Big Data Key Components 

To understand Advanced Analytics effectively it is essential to identify the key components and characteristics of big data. These include: 

  • Volume – this refers to the amount of data in terms of the mass quantities that Telcos are trying to harness, which will improve decision-making. In this day and age, we are talking about a high volume of data and large data sets, with data volumes continuing to soar at an unprecedented rate. Traditionally, volumes include megabytes, gigabytes, and trillions of bytes. However, we are now measuring bytes in petabytes and zettabytes. For example, Adapt IT Telecoms Advanced Analytics solutions analyses hundreds of millions of Call Detail Records (CDR’s) per day in almost real-time. 
  • Velocity -refers to data in motion or the speed at which data is created, processed, or analysed. Today, there is a need for low latency, fast and real-time access to large amounts of data and insights. Innovative Advanced Analytics software and technology have made this possible, especially where time-sensitive processes are needed, such as the case with fraud detection. For big data to be of value to the Telco, it needs to be available in real-time. 
  • Variety – to get a complete view of your big data as a Telco, you need to collect and analyse different types of data and data sources. Advanced Analytics technology makes it possible to capture the data relevant to your business, operations, and customers and provide you with relevant insights and information. 
  • Value – as a Telco, you can utilise Advanced Analytics technology to analyse the big data that will add real value to your business. This technology allows for big data analysis and will be able to pull the valuable and relevant data needed for actionable insights and information.

Telcos must ensure that they have implemented the proper big data technologies and data science practices to ensure that they are receiving and utilising the most current and relevant data to drive their business operations, marketing strategies and business decision making. This can only be managed effectively if the Advanced Analytics solution chosen ticks all four of the component boxes above. Advanced Analytics needs to analyse large volumes of data at high speeds while ensuring that the most relevant and valuable data is being utilised.  

big data benefits

Benefits of big data 

When Advanced Analytics solutions incorporate all of the big data components mentioned above, there are many different benefits that a Telco can experience. These include: 

  • Manage customer churn –Advanced Analytics provides historical data on customers who have already churned as well as insight into their behaviours and reasons for the churn. By analysing the data related to this behaviour, you would be able to see if customer churn is related to the quality of service, network issues, social media trends, availability of other better options, sudden price hikes, unresolved queries, and more. With this understanding, you can address the reasons for customer churn, enhance customer experience and prevent this in the future.  
  • Improve Customer Experience – providing an excellent customer experience is critical to reducing customer churn. Big data analytics will allow you to personalise offerings, marketing, and communication efforts to your customer base. The addition of self-service platforms will also allow customers to resolve queries, ask questions and find solutions to issues they are experiencing— each of these improves customer experience. 
fraud activity
  • Detecting fraudulent activity– in a digital age, fraudulent activity is an increasing threat. Big data allows data statisticians and data scientists to identify, detect and prevent cybersecurity issues and fraud. The algorithms are used to process data and find patterns in real-time to identify vulnerabilities and threats to protect your business and customers. 
  • Optimise marketing campaigns – the insight gained from big data and advanced analytics help businesses target the right customer base with the right product offerings, thereby enhancing profitability. These analytics allow businesses to determine customer responses and therefore improve targeting. 
  • Improve network operations and Prevent Revenue Leakage – using advanced analytics, Telcos can identify traffic patterns, peak use times and forecast industry needs and demands. Using this insight, the business can put measures in place to ensure that the network runs smoothly and that the customers have access to what they need. This technology is also used to manage and optimise backend workflows, maintenance activities, alerts on equipment failure, and provide real-time updates on the network. 
  • Data monetisation – Telcos can collect user data related to subscriber demographics, subscriber location, network usage, device details, application usage, currency, preferences, etc. This insight can be used to create new revenue streams for Telcos through advertising and marketing opportunities. Telcos can offer businesses and third parties advertising opportunities that target specific customer segments. For example, Telcos can sell the space at the bottom of a “Please Call Me” SMS and use this to bring in more revenue. 
big data and advanced analytics

Big data and Advanced Analytics 

From the above, it is clear that big data and Advanced Analytics play a significant role in the productivity and profitability of Telcos. Big data is critical for Telco business success, but this means nothing if this data is not transformed into advanced analytics and insights that can drive decision-making and actions within the business. To solve this conundrum is Adapt IT’s innovative CDRlive platform. 

This platform converts big data, which for Telcos is in the form of Call Data Records (CDRs), into actionable and valuable insights that the business can utilise. CDRs provide data relating to how users utilise a phone system, the internet, video calls, SMS, etc. CDRs provide hundreds of fields for each call record and information related to each call type. CDR’s may also include other forms of communication transmission information.

Although this CDR data is valuable, as it stands, it does not make sense on its own. Adapt IT’s CDRlive platform utilises Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to turn these CDR’s into valuable insights that can be utilised to improve Telco operations, performance, offerings, service delivery, profitability and take advantage of the benefits outlined above. 


Big data and Advanced Analytics will continue to play a significant role within the Telecommunications industry over the next few years. We will even be bold enough to say that those who are not utilising big data effectively will fall behind within this competitive market. Big data and advanced analytics are critical to Telco business success. To take full advantage of big data you, as a Telco, need to have the right technology in place, like Adapt IT’s CDRlive platform. To learn more about this innovative business intelligence solution and how your business can take full advantage of big data, download our white paper here.

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