Don’t take my word for it: analytics is hot


Analytics is the hot new buzzword at the TeleManagement Forum (TMForum).

Because I am the Communications Industry Marketing Manager for SAS, you would expect me to return from last week’s TMForum Management World conference with tales about the importance of analytics in the telecommunications industry. But I'm not the only one who's excited about analytics. Martin Creaner, President TMForum puts data analytics at the top of his list in this conference recap published in Connected Planet.  “While [data analytics]has always been exciting in the realm of revenue assurance, it is now moving to the forefront for those in charge of marketing, product development and customer care,” says Creaner.

Over 1,200 telecommunications industry professionals gathered in Orlando for the annual Management World Americas conference. They were all given a copy of Exploiting Analytics, the first report prepared by the forum on the subject of analytics. Many also attended the executive round table titled, "Analytics for the Customer Experience Lifecycle."

Several of us from SAS have been involved with the TMForum for years, guys like Augustine Vaz, and Tony Galloway from the EMEA Communications practice, and Alliance Manager, Mike Gandolfo. The Focus of the Forum traditionally has been on telecom operational and billing systems. At past conferneces, we spent most of our time answering two questions: “Who is SAS?” and “What is Analytics?” Now executives seek us out - and they ask us “How can we use analytics to improve our business?” Communications Service Providers are increasingly turning to the standards established by the TMForum. Again don’t take my word for it. Here is what a key industry leader has to say in this on the subject. “TM Forum’s Frameworx standard is a key part of Telstra’s IT strategy, the conformance assessment process and the RFx Guides will enable a consistent approach to procuring conformant solutions, and also assist in process design.” -  Michael Lawrey, executive director architecture, Online and Media, Telstra

"Exploiting Analytics," a new Insights Report published by the TMForum concludes that “There is a strong movement by Communications Service Providers to use sophisticated analytics, increasingly in real time, to provide current and relevant information about their customers’ experience.” This comes as no surprise to SAS because the author of the report, Rob Rich, Managing Director TMForum Insights Research has spent a lot of time with SAS, and spoken to some of our customer who identified a clear link between the use of analytics and business improvement.

Key findings in the report are, business analytics, both traditional and real-time are the key to:

  • Better understanding customer motivation and behavior.
  • Suggesting attractive offers and predicting the likelihood of the offers being accepted.
  • Modeling and improving customer-experience related processes.
  • Measuring performance improvement and customer satisfaction.
  • Predicting the likelihood of a customer churning, ideally so preventative action can be taken.

I first spoke at the TMForum on Analytics back in 2005. I think about 15 people showed up. It was the only session on analytics and also the last time slot in the conference. Now, the conference has an analytics stream and an executive round table about analytics. Among communications service providers analytics is hot, and not just because I say so.


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Ken King

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