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Putting Big Data to Work for Big Telecom

  • August 2014
  • -
  • Frost & Sullivan
  • -
  • 10 pages

Summary

Table of Contents

This Stratecast SPIE report outlines specific CSP areas of need that Big Data is best equipped to address, and analyzes examples of how CSPs are beginning to reap the benefits of an integrated Big Data and analytics strategy.

Introduction
With so many communications technologies and services available today to help consumers and businesses communicate globally—many of them low-cost or free—communications service providers (CSPs) face serious competitive and financial challenges. In an increasingly data-driven economy, however, CSPs are also in a strong position. Most users interact with their mobile operator many times each day, making calls, sending texts, browsing the Web, launching apps, and so on. These interactions are generating vast amounts of data that today remain largely untapped. With their traditional business models under pressure from both regulation and new competitors, now is the time for CSPs to harness those data assets to enhance their businesses.

CSPs have long been focused on maintaining the best possible information about their own IT assets: their networks and supporting infrastructure. For decades, CSPs have been collecting, normalizing, processing, transforming, managing, and deploying data in their IT infrastructures. This specialized data is, by and large, structured data: the type of data that fits into predefined row-and-column formats, exists in relational databases (RDBs), and can typically be queried with systems query language (SQL) data management tools. Obviously, this structured data plays an important role in the operations of any CSP. Yet, Stratecast believes a CSP’s best opportunities for future business growth lie not within these structured systems, but in implementing a comprehensive data management strategy that can also manage unstructured and semi-structured data: data with no easily identifiable or consistent structure or parameters, and that is not possible to manage in traditional RDBs. These newer types of data:

- Emanate from Web and digital sources such as Web sites, text messages, email, XML files, social media, corporate documents, online video, other rich media sources, and beyond.
- Can be captured from mobile, social, video, clickstreams, and other interactive media.
- Cannot typically be queried with traditional SQL tools. Accessing this data requires using keyword- and context-based NoSQL (“not only SQL”) databases and database tools.
This Stratecast SPIE report outlines specific CSP areas of need that Big Data is best equipped to address, and analyzes examples of how CSPs are beginning to reap the benefits of an integrated Big Data and analytics strategy.

Big Data: Telecom is Just One Impacted Vertical, but an Important One
Stratecast defines Big Data as data sets that are too large and complex, or are growing and changing too quickly, for traditional databases and applications to manage—and new data structures that traditional databases cannot manage. Analytics refers both to general purpose statistical software and to special purpose software applications for more specific analytic functions.

When it comes to analyzing the market for Big Data and analytics, Stratecast views telecommunications as just another vertical, taking its place alongside other verticals where companies are beginning to effectively leverage Big Data, including:
- Consumer packaged goods (CPG)
- Electronics
- Financial services
- Government
- Healthcare/biotech
- Manufacturing
- Retail

Stratecast forecasts the global market for Big Data, analytics, and business intelligence solutions to reach $ billion in 2014, with about % of this coming from Big Data solutions for CSPs; leaving % to solutions for all other verticals. So, while telecommunications is just one of a number of verticals where Big Data is in use, it is clearly an important one.

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