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Solving Complex Telecom Challenges with Data Governance and Location Analytics

Authors Photo Precisely Editor | February 12, 2024

The competition for subscribers is fierce. Telcos constantly seek innovative new ways to gain market share, increase efficiency, improve service, and optimize network investments.

For instance, telcos are early adopters of location intelligence – spatial analytics has been helping telecommunications firms by adding rich location-based context to their existing data sets for years. You need to make the most out of your location data to accelerate network planning and performance and achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction. This blog focuses on key technology considerations beyond location intelligence that help make location data actionable and help telcos achieve their growth and corporate sustainability goals.

Key Telco Trends

Telecommunications firms have long been on the leading edge of innovation, rapidly adapting to fast-paced changes in technology, consumer expectations, and market dynamics. Today we see that trend continuing unabated, as telco leaders engage in a race to deliver better service, keep network technology up-to-date, and deliver on ever-higher market expectations.

Here are some of the key trends and challenges facing telecommunications companies today:

The growth of AI and machine learning: Telecom companies use artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) for predictive analytics and network troubleshooting. They use advanced algorithms to proactively identify and resolve network issues, reducing downtime and improving service to their subscribers.

Telco trends and challenges

5G technology planning and rollout: Telcos focus much of their attention on building out their 5G networks. They use spatial analytics to determine the optimal placement of 5G base stations and decide how to best allocate network resources.

ESG: Telcos invest in energy efficiency and other sustainability initiatives that have the potential to positively impact their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) scores.

Improved customer experiences: Telcos use spatial analytics to add rich context to a 360° view of each customer, enabling telecommunications firms to better understand the preferences, behaviors, and needs of their subscribers.

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Common Data Challenges in Telecommunications

As natural innovators, telecommunications firms have been early adopters of advanced analytics.

Despite that fact, valuable data often remains locked up in various silos across the organization. Specialized audiences may have access to it, but the organization lacks the necessary mechanisms to share that information across the enterprise. This shortfall in effective data governance inhibits visibility and transparency. Data integration and data integrity are lacking.

Before business users can tap into the value of their data to deliver positive outcomes, that data must be complete, contextual, timely, accurate, and available. In other words, the data needs to be freed from its silos. It needs to have integrity.

Many organizations approach this problem in an ad hoc fashion. Data scientists spend most of their time combining, harmonizing, and validating disparate data sets. That’s immensely time-consuming, preventing high-value employees from focusing on strategically important activities. As an ad hoc process, it also lacks the necessary structure and discipline to deliver consistent results.

Finally, the one-off approach creates a delay. All that time spent on data preparation has an opportunity cost associated with it. When information is delayed, so is the potential business value that it generates.

Data Governance Drives Insights

Data governance provides an important framework. In today’s hypercompetitive environment, telcos need business-ready data. That means having data that can be trusted to deliver on the organization’s strategic and tactical objectives, producing positive outcomes in network planning and optimization, improving customer experiences, reaching new subscribers, and achieving corporate sustainability goals.

Effective data governance assures that each data set has a clear owner and that the organization has mechanisms in place to measure and score things like data quality. It also provides a clear picture of the data that exists within the organization, where it is located, what it means, who has access to it, and how it is used.

A truly effective data governance framework will adapt to the changing landscape of the organization and scale effectively as the volume and velocity of information flowing through the company expands.

data governance framework

Spatial Data Governance in Telcos

Location-based context is critical for virtually any organization, but that’s especially true in telecommunications. Companies need to know where their customers live, work, and play. They need to understand how their network infrastructures serve the coverage needs of their audience, and how competitive coverage affects the market dynamics in their territory.

Most of the telecom data has a location component and many questions can only be answered with a strong foundation of data governance. For example:

  • Is the spatial data that the organization uses fully compliant with privacy regulations and internal policies?
  • Does the marketing department have access to trustworthy location data that deepens their understanding of subscribers and prospective customers?
  • Is location data available to business users in a usable format geared toward their intended purposes?
  • How can the organization as a whole improve data-driven decisions using spatial analytics?

However, working with spatial data can be especially challenging. Spatial data tends to be extremely large and highly complex. Data sets may involve hundreds of data types, Information can include everything from the speed limits on nearby roads to the height and profile of buildings, to the boundaries of various legal jurisdictions.

Location-based data is often subject to additional regulatory requirements as well, further adding to the challenges of spatial data governance.

Spatial data governance can break down spatial data silos and help organizations get a better grip on location-based data, ultimately enabling confident decisions across the entire organization.

Precisely is the only company in the market that combines deep expertise in data governance, spatial analytics, and data enrichment. That makes us the perfect partner for innovation leaders in the telecommunications industry.

Are you interested in learning more about telecom data governance benefits of a business-first data governance framework? Download our free eBook today, Data Governance 101: Overcoming Data Governance Challenges.