You Don’t Need Eyes to See, You Need Vision: Why Big Data Requires More than Just Numbers

Posted: September 11th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »

The world likes infographics. In fact, one study (in infographic form!) even states that people are 40 percent more likely to read a high-quality infographic than a text article. What’s the appeal? Well, these data visualisations make it easier to communicate complex ideas more effectively. They’re also mobile-friendly and ripe for consumption for the pinch-and-swipe generation.

Yet most readers don’t stop to consider what’s really being visualised. Infographics are fueled by Big Data. In particular, a specific vision for Big Data that’s been laid out carefully, with a strategic goal behind it.

The Difference Between Eyes and Vision

This infographic about customer retention is a brilliant model for what Big Data can accomplish when a visual element is added to bring actionable insights to life. With images, charts and graphs to help the reader along, a portrait of loyalty evolves in a way that makes the viewer appreciate the findings even more.

More importantly, this infographic shows what Big Data can accomplish when there’s a vision behind it. In this case, a vision of customer loyalty was supplemented and constructed with concrete data points.

At a glance, we can see the main reasons customers leave businesses and what a company can do to remedy the situation. These findings are compiled from over 15 different sources, but since the infographic consolidates the data, there’s a cohesive narrative.

Many communications service providers (CSPs) today have the capacity to collect a lot of information from customers, too, but that data is hardly ever leveraged contextually or holistically. The eyes are there, but the vision is not.

“When Customers Stick: Customer Retention by the Numbers” shows us that trends can emerge quickly when data is applied with a purpose.

Another great example is a map of countries with paid maternal leave, courtesy of The New York Times. Again, labor practices, regulations and beliefs are all rolled up into one image here, showing that data, when applied to a vision, can be very powerful.

Creating a Vision for Telco Data

CSPs can greatly benefit from data visualisation techniques, because they can help form a concrete objective behind the information. Consider how important a map or infographic of customer data usage (like this visualisation of daily global Internet usage) can be to a future marketing campaign.

By compiling specific segments of data, CSPs can create a clear depiction of the different needs of their customers, and leverage that to create contextual offers and tactics that better meet individual preferences and behaviours.

When a business combines a vision with data, the rest falls into place. Whether CSPs are wondering whether an LTE deployment would be profitable in a certain city or a specific region would be likely to purchase a new service bundle, Big Data can help shed light on trends and bring underlying behaviours to the forefront.

Tools like predictive and automated analytics help CSPs take both structured and unstructured data at the company’s disposal and create actionable insights from it. The maps and infographics are visualisations generated by historical data.

Imagine if a business had the tools to compile that information and apply predictive analytics to it, forecasting and envisioning potential outcomes and trends. This is all proof that a lot of complex information can be leveraged to make data beautiful. And, by making data beautiful – and meaningful – CSPs can fully realise their business vision.

Want to learn more?

Read Northstream’s new white paper, “Analytics Beyond the Hype.” Some of the analytics strategies covered include:

  • Reducing churn via predictive analytics
  • Making customer acquisition more cost-effective with targeted marketing
  • Operating networks more efficiently by automatically monitoring asset and capacity management
  • Tailoring offers to customers to increase ARPU

Download the White Paper!

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