The data volumes are on the rise. More data has been created in the last two years than the entire history of mankind. It is estimated that by the year 2020, 1.7 megabytes of new data will be created every second for every human being on the planet. The total data of the universe will grow to 44 zettabytes from a mere 4.4 zettabytes today. On an average, 31.25 million messages are exchanged on facebook every minute and 300 hours of video are uploaded only on Youtube.
Big Data Analytics is becoming an integral part of telecom service prover’s daily aspect of operation. It not only helps these telecom industries to drive efficiency, it also helps providers to personalize experiences and thus facilitates expansion. Moreover, use of big data leads to reduction of cost due to which providers can consider more data to take valuable insights and deliver superior performance.
Current Contribution of Big Data Analytics in the Telecom Industry
Although the discussions about big data analytics have started now, the experts say, big data has always been important. Earlier, organizations had to put up with the technological challenges with regards to decision making, data mining, knowledge management, business analytics, but now have access to a world of options with the help of big data analytics. Providers can now look beyond the mundane business operations and look forward to the future empowered by able decision making capabilities, thanks to big data analytics.
As per an analysis conducted by Mason, the current size of the analytics market in the telecom sector was US$2.1 billion in 2013 which is growing at an average rate of 9% every year. The market is expected to reach US$4296 million by 2019. Geographically, North America and Western Europe are leading the herd.
Key Challenges experienced
Big Data Analytics in the telecom industry is not free from challenges. The challenges can be broadly classified into three categories – Technical Challenges, Organizational Challenges and Manpower related Challenges. The scope of exploiting the full potential of big data analytics is restricted by these factors which are explained in details:
For successful analytics, a well-established infrastructure is required to provide support. Hence, the telecom providers need to prep up their tools and technology to successfully implement analytics. In this respect, they have to conduct a whole range of functions like upgrading the data warehousing technology, creating a hybrid solution that will provide support to all types of structured and unstructured data, etc. This is not an easy task. In-depth understanding of business issues that needs to be resolved through analytics is crucial to addressing the technical challenges.
Another very important challenge of a successful analytics is employing staff who have an exhaustive understanding of the data being used and the kind of output expected through the analytics. This requires a considerable amount of time and effort. Finding such manpower from the open market and more importantly retaining them is a significant challenge faced by service providers.
For effective implementation and utilization of big data, service providers have to restructure their organizational hierarchy. Some say, it is best to employ a central analytics team to deploy and implement analytics all across the organization. However, there is a problem of having a central team. The use of a centralized team might lead to a bottleneck since management of prioritizing projects becomes an issue. The most effective solution is a hybrid approach where control is partly centralized and partly decentralized. This also brings in a sense of inclusiveness among the organization’s manpower bringing in a good working environment in the organization.
Future of Big Data Analytics in Telecom Industry
Well, big data is here to stay, especially with respect to the telecom industry. Big data is a ‘here and how’ phenomenon. Every single day, each service provider is coming up with newer uses of big data analytics leaving their competitor behind. Valuable insights regarding operations such as call drop analysis, churn prediction, network analytics, customer segmentation, predictive campaign, location-based services and much more make big data analytics an irreplaceable technology for telecom service providers.
To conclude, we may say that big data analytics is an important part of the communications industry, and it is going to be indispensable in the coming years. Technological innovations will make taking complex decisions easier for providers and thus enable them to gain a definitive competitive edge over the others.