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Lundi 23 Mars 2015

The Big Promise of Big Data - Leverage the Potential to Grow Your Business

Big Data could be one of the solutions to help telcos drive revenues and optimize costs, but most players are yet to take this great opportunity seriously.

Many telcos are still to take the first step on the road towards a full Big Data implementation, but this could be a mistake as Big Data holds strong promise and telcos are well positioned to occupy a central role in the dawning data ecosystem. "Telcos must claim their role in Big Data. The speed, the role and the relevance they have in the ecosystem will be determined by the actions they take in the next 12 to 24 months", says Kushal Shah, Partner and Head of the TMT practice at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants Middle East.

- The telecommunications services industry is under pressure, facing declining revenues in developed markets and stagnating growth in emerging ones
- Telcos in mature and emerging markets alike should act now and define their Big Data strategy and roadmap
- Telcos that do not invest now will be left behind by competitors that leverage Big Data's potential to grow their business

Elaborating on the question of how telcos can best make Big Data work for them, this latest study from Roland Berger provides several examples of Big Data initiatives from across the globe and identifies four key success factors necessary to make Big Data work.

Big Data requires C-suite support

IT departments tend to drive Big Data topics, but Big Data will only work if the 'business' departments (for example Marketing, Sales, Customer Care and Network) leverage their business insight to ask the right questions and to set Big Data objectives. Business and IT should approach top management together to convince them of the Big Data promise, build a strategy, establish a roadmap and secure the necessary investment.

Big Data depends on talent

Big Data requires people who are highly skilled in data management, data analysis and data visualization. Telecom data scientists should ideally also understand the business in order to identify Big Data opportunities. But it also requires other resources, and especially managers, to be trained to better understand the value of these analyses. Companies should furthermore work towards changing the way they make business decisions, giving data insights more weight when considering different actions.

Big Data needs a dedicated organization and clear governance

Telcos that move towards seizing the opportunities in Big Data need to adapt their organization. Creating a Big Data team is a necessary step on the way - rethinking how the company deals with data is another. Internal accountability for data management also needs to be formalized, standards established, policies adopted, processes defined, ownership attributed and all governance aspects shared with internal stakeholders. Companies should also make sure they include an opt-out possibility for customers who do not wish their data to be used for Big Data initiatives. This is paramount in order to maintain customers' trust in the market. Adequate data governance will help assure data availability and quality. It is also key to ensure the respect of regulations for handling customer data. In short, a company with Big Data ambitions needs to become a Big Data organization and the organizational setup should reflect which Big Data positioning the company aims to adopt.

Big Data requires a supporting IT architecture

Big Data cannot be parachuted into an organization. Telcos that want to move ahead with Big Data first need to establish a strategy for how they aim to collect, manage and analyze this data. Big Data setups will for instance require an integration of structured and unstructured elements, together with supporting analytical tools. Data quality also needs to be assured throughout the process. Telcos must ensure they invest their technology CAPEX wisely, adapting and phasing the investments to match their ambitions, as defined in their Big Data strategy.

About Roland Berger Strategy Consultants
Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, founded in 1967, is the only leading global consultancy with German heritage and of European origin. With 2,400 employees working from 36 countries, we have successful operations in all major international markets. Our 50 offices are located in the key global business hubs, including four offices in the Middle East. The consultancy is an independent partnership owned exclusively by 220 Partners.

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