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We don’t have to tell you that we live in a time of disruption, and that every disruption forces us to look for fresh ways to obtain and deliver new efficiencies, better quality, new revenue, and a better customer experience.

To meet rising customer expectations, innovations in service offerings, and intense competition, operators recognize that they must deliver tailored customer experiences, across omnichannels, with outstanding quality, despite the demands that advanced services place on the network. For answers, operators are turning to big data as one tool to help them solve many of these issues.

Why big data?

If you think about it, everything an operator does comes down to making a decision and then executing it. That sounds straightforward and, until recently, it was. It’s well and good that we have the ability to change our plans, make our network more nimble, and place our CAPEX in different locations with different technologies. But what, exactly, should we do? And how can we know?

“The knowledge to make the right decisions is the piece of the puzzle that has been missing and that analytics can provide,” says Neil Lilley, Product Marketing Manager for Analytics and Assurance at Ericsson. “Analytics can answer many key questions with actionable insights that we never had before. How good is what we’re delivering and what can we do to deliver it better? Where should we invest? What do customers want? How satisfied are they? Are they about to churn or are they amenable to an upsell opportunity?”

How today’s big data is different

Big data analytics provides an unparalleled opportunity to understand the quality and causes of customer experience. Operators have embraced the promise of big data analytics, but many find it difficult to get big data insights out of the lab and into everyday operations. Data silos block progress, while the massive scale of events and metrics to be analyzed can jeopardize the real time promise of even the most robust deployments. New services such as VoLTE and 5G don’t easily yield to traditional algorithms and metrics. And encrypted traffic evades the usual assurance efforts.

Traditionally, we could know how a particular piece of equipment was performing. But our siloed system simply didn’t provide the larger insights that could help operators be proactive instead of just reactive.

Today’s service-centered data analytics correlates multiple sources, connects the silos and produces a truly end-to-end view of the customer experience in real time. With the right tools and the right expertise, your data will provide a powerful view of the customer, not just at a moment in time but throughout his or her journey with you.

Drawing actionable insights from your data

One such tool is Ericsson Expert Analytics, a real time, multivendor, cross domain, big data analytics platform that produces actionable insights about customer experience and customer behavior. Operators can apply these insights to drive decisions (and even automate actions) across marketing, customer care, operations and planning.

Ericsson Expert Analytics avoids the pitfalls of many other approaches that dump the information into an unmanageable “data lake.” Real time, near-network correlation, coupled with unique, proven and patented algorithms, data models and business rules provide actionable insights about customer symptoms, root causes and next best actions, thus reducing handling time, rebound rate and escalations for customer impacting events.

A patented Service Level Index (SLI) measures subjective customer satisfaction for every customer while a Cell Level Index (CLI) expresses the quality of service as perceived by the subscribers served by a particular radio cell. Machine intelligence then extracts customer behavior insights that can drive targeted retention and upsell-offer recommendations.

With Ericsson Expert Analytics, operators have the unique ability to unravel the thorniest customer experience issues. Complex event processing and unique metrics reveal, for instance, the hidden quality issues that can plague VoLTE services. Advanced traffic analysis can enable proactive assurance for encrypted traffic that is otherwise inscrutable.

Gartner found that “one of the most mature solutions in the industry, Ericsson’s big data analytics platform helps CSPs leverage existing OSS/BSS infrastructures. The platform provides predictive analytics and machine-learning algorithms that drive decision support and automated action—for end-to-end business, IT and network use cases.” (Gartner Magic Quadrant for Operations Support Systems, November 2017)

Operators are looking for big data analytics investments that produce big dividends. Ericsson Expert Analytics can be one effective tool on the road to delighting customers and efficiently delivering a superior experience.

Learn more about Ericsson Expert Analytics.

Gartner names Ericsson a leader in OSS.

Editor's Note: This blog was first published by Ericsson in Fierce Wireless, June 4, 2018.

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Laurie Spiegel
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Laurie Spiegel

Laurie Spiegel is Marketing Campaign Manager at Ericsson North America with focus on a range of Ericsson solutions for operators in the region. Laurie is currently promoting digital services transformation, data analytics and the journey to 5G for greater customer, network and IT simplicity. Her expertise in technology, operations and systems comes from leading consulting engagements worldwide to help service providers develop, assess and execute strategies such as network modernization and new service deployment.