When we traditionally think of data, we think of reams of numbers and not much else. It’s a pretty cold definition, a combination of ones and zeroes that help us stay organised. Companies are starting to leverage their data for all sorts of new business applications.
In the telecommunications sector, that’s often contributed to delivering a better customer experience and supporting more informed, strategic decision-making.
The problem with data is that you need to pore through back-office systems to find what you need.
Data can help optimise processes and build revolutionary new services, but it’s long been up to the humans on the back-end to sort and process the information in a way that makes sense for the business. That’s changing. As machine learning becomes more sophisticated, that technology can be applied to data, creating a system that can learn what the company needs and deliver that information in real-time.
Oddly enough, one of the best illustrations of these capabilities was in a Scarlett Johansson movie. Raj Amin, co-founder of Mana Health, recently wrote that the movie “Her” showed a glimpse of how data can adopt a more human-like context.
Making Data Come to Life
In “Her”, Johansson plays an artificially intelligent operating system. The scene that Amin highlights is when she helps the protagonist, Theodore (played by Joaquin Phoenix), sort through his emails. As he’s directing the process, Theodore adds that he thought some of them might be funny and – lo and behold – Johansson laughs and saves the emails that she thinks are amusing.
Amin points this out as a great example of how data can become more human and, therefore, a lot more meaningful to the people who are using it. By analysing emails and then adjusting the query based on what Theodore really wants, Johansson is connecting with Theodore not just through process, but through real-time, human-like learning.
At Comptel, we’re working hard to help ensure that automation, predictive analytics and Big Data have similar powers by applying machine learning to all the information being processed. Just like the operating system voiced by Johansson, our machine learning can make use of the data that companies already have and make automatic, contextualized recommendations. That’s the foundation for our business application, Critical Alarm Protection (CAP), for example.
CAP helps communications service providers predict and prioritise network issues and site failures before they occur. Just like in “Her,” CAP can provide rankings and recommendations for different actions. If there’s potential for an outage at a specific site, CAP automatically sends a notification to the operations team, with suggestions on how to fix the problem.
When data is combined with machine learning and automation, it really is possible to make numbers feel more human. Rather than digging through data for the answers, new applications like CAP can sort through the information and suggest the right solution for you. It might not quite be like having a fully sentient operating system, but it’s a step in the right direction.