Finding the needle in a big data haystack

Predicting and preventing network pain points – Part I

In a recent blog post we highlighted the five ways in which network downtime can be significantly reduced in order to improve customer service and brand loyalty. In this post we aim to address the first point, ensuring visibility, and provide some guidance on how this can be achieved.

As many companies in the telco sector will know, big data is nothing new; the volumes of data available have always been extensive, and for regulatory reasons some classes of data have to be stored for many years. However, frustratingly for many in the industry, the big data hype is drowning out the potential deliverables.

A common misconception is that ‘big data’ equals ‘unstructured data’ or ‘useless data’, which unfortunately, for some is true due to a lack of strategy or even a business case for using the data. Purely storing data will not make it useful, but that in itself is no justification for discarding it.

To make data useful there must be realisable benefits to the business and an effective business strategy to take steps to ensure visibility of that data to the relevant business groups. However this is where there is a cost implication and problems can start; if the wrong tools are used for the job the costs can be considerable and the task can very quickly become just like looking for a very expensive ‘needle in a haystack’!

A real ‘needle in a haystack’ case 

The pain: A mobile operator suffered a significant increase in the number of dropped calls on their network, equal to 2% of total calls. The operations department was using legacy fault management reporting and didn’t know what the problem was until the following day, when a retrospective report was pulled.

The diagnosis: A fault with the equipment at one of their major cell sites, which could have been picked up in minutes instead of hours or days. Unfortunately, the customer care department’s data wasn’t integrated with the legacy fault management software, meaning that the cause and effect couldn’t be identified and resolved in real-time.

The remedy: Ensure your operations provide a vertical (top down) view, so you can simultaneously view network and customer problems, and prioritise accordingly.

For a preventive cure that can collect and analyse raw terabytes of network and service platform performance data; in real-time, contact us.

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