Quality Pays: Use data dashboards to improve mobile service
According to a 2014 Telegraph investigation, one million mobile users across Britain face unreliable network coverage. It’s likely that, at one point or another, poor mobile experience has changed perception of a phone provider, or even made a customer switch providers altogether.
It’s because of common scenarios like this, that telecom companies need to address service issues before they become a problem for customers. How? By aggregating and analysing the data they already have. Fortunately solutions now exist that make this truly possible. With business intelligence (BI) technology and more specifically predictive analytics, telecoms providers can improve mobile service by forecasting probabilities and trends, says David Hall-Tipping.
Understanding where the data comes from
Thanks to advancements in technology, today’s mobile landscape is more complex than ever. In the past, telecoms used circuit-switched networks with dedicated connections that had simpler architecture. Now, the networks are becoming packet-switched based, and customers can use Voice over IP (VoIP) services to make voice calls using the Internet.
This makes monitoring data from end to end—not just from person to tower, but also to core and to Internet—quite a challenge. To understand exactly how long it takes to load a webpage onto a smartphone, for example, providers need the data for every piece of the chain. The only way to get a clear picture of the customer experience is to aggregate all this data from multiple sources into a single viewpoint, or dashboard.
Overcoming data complexities
Due to the sheer volume alone, aggregating data is no easy task. One way telecoms can do this is to aggregate data from multiple sources into a data warehouse or repository to manage both historical and near-real-time data. This gives companies a common customer view across all their lines of business and functions. Plus, for more expansive data warehouse capabilities, companies can integrate reporting and analytics with their data models.
However, data repositories don’t come without challenges. First, the data from different systems won’t necessarily match up exactly. For instance, if the network controller’s towers in Birmingham are run by company A, but those in Brighton are run by company B, you’ll need a BI application that can normalise the data from both sources.
A second challenge is that large companies—and most telecoms are very large—tend to have a number of siloed systems. This makes it difficult to determine which department or team owns what service. For instance, whose domain does a third-party service like WhatsApp fall under? This presents an organisational problem for everyone involved.
Getting the right data to the right people
The key to addressing mobile service issues quickly is giving the right people instant access to the data they need. For telecoms, that means looking at the service experience from the customer’s point of view, and ensuring BI dashboards and reports are relevant to their specific user roles.
For example, a repairman who is fixing equipment on the ground needs to access very specific, real-time data in a mobile interface. On the other hand, an analyst who is looking for the next quality metric to give the company an edge over competitors will need to review a much broader set of enterprise-wide data. By the same token, a service representative answering customer calls will need instant access to a customer’s specific history with the provider.
Without dashboards that show the relevant key performance indicators for each of their roles, these employees cannot succeed in addressing their specific business problems as they arise.
Did you know that telecom companies spend hundreds of pounds to acquire just one new customer? In today’s mobile market, it pays more to keep customers than to poach them from competitors. And the best way to retain customers is to provide a high quality of service.
To that end, analytics dashboards are invaluable tools. By providing a complete picture of data across the enterprise, they can help telecoms ensure every call always go through, no matter the load on the networks—and that translates to satisfied, loyal customers.
The author of this blog is David Hall-Tipping, solutions manager at Logi Analytics.
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