For operators to maintain a competitive market advantage in today’s communications industry, they must understand the type of data they have and how to monetize it. Data has become the new global currency, and if organizations cannot access and analyze what they have at their disposal, it can leave them at a disadvantage in the marketplace.

Understanding existing data can enable communications service providers (CSPs) to create better experiences for customers and uncover new revenue opportunities. However, CSPs can experience challenges with existing analytics tools that may hinder business growth. Even though the world has moved to embrace 5G, many CSPs are still operating with systems designed for 3G and 4G networks or are using traditional analytics tools with a non-standardized approach, which is hindering the ability to digitally transform.

Common Challenges With Existing Analytics Tools

Siloed tools with non-standardized interfaces, non-standardized data collection, lack of skillsets, poor data access and quality, and long upgrade cycles challenge CSPs relying on existing analytics tools.

Perhaps the largest hurdle is that data silos limit the ability of CSPs to mine data, make informed decisions or define business objectives. They also prevent other business functions and third-party partners from accessing relevant data about customers, products, and market trends. Data silos can also be costly as IT teams will need an increasing number of servers and storage devices to manage the immense amount of data. As the communications industry is growing increasingly dependent on data, CSPs need to employ new analytic tools to make their next business move strategically. It’s never been more critical for CSPs to have a standardized approach to data collection, processing and storage.

A New Strategic Approach to Data

Cloud-native technology and the complexity of 5G are compelling service providers to look at their analytics strategies—tools, skillsets and processes—in a different way. To successfully use data to derive strategic insights, improve the quality of service and uncover new revenue streams, CSPs need to employ newly available analytics tools that are secure, configurable and optimized for big data. New analytics solutions are designed to help operators make strategic decisions with machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) using relevant historical data, predictions and anomalies about their network. Aggregating data like control signaling measurements, the state of network functions, congestion and quality of service can be accessed on an intuitive dashboard, thus enabling carriers to streamline operations and better plan networks based on insights generated from current, predicted and even simulated events.

Secure – Organizations are not the only ones who believe that data is the new global currency–cybercriminals believe it, too. When employing new analytics tools, the flow of data communications between the network functions and third-party consumer applications must be encrypted and secure. Prioritizing security helps prevent bad actors and cybercriminals from accessing valuable data.
Optimized for big data – Managing big data can be challenging and complex, so communication service providers need a flexible toolset for data collection and management, analytics and development. This toolset will allow CSPs to track progress on newly deployed applications and identify new growth opportunities.
Entirely configurable — With advanced analytics tools, agility is key. CSPs need to employ tools that enable them to navigate through the challenges that may arise, like increased complexity in data collection or lack of compatibility with other legacy data collection tools. Advanced analytics tools need to be able to integrate with third-party vendors and seamlessly communicate.

Data is no Longer ‘Nice to Have’

Data is quickly becoming a key tenet of success in the 5G era, and communications service providers must understand their data to stay ahead of the curve. Today it’s critical for CSPs to become stronger, more data-driven organizations. Employing analytics tools is a valuable step in a larger transformation journey from providers of connectivity to accessing new revenue streams made available by the 5G era.