Building a Data Culture Inside a Telco Organisation – Part 2

Extracted from the Wavenet CEO interview on the topic, ‘Building a Data Strategy & Data Culture in Telecommunications’ – hosted by GSMA’s Thrive Digital Event  

Global Wavenet’s CEO, Suren Pinto, was interviewed by GSMA on the topic of building a data strategy and a data culture inside a telco organization.  In Part 1 of this blog Suren talked about the importance of data – on becoming a data–driven company, and on the process a company should take to get ahead in the journey of becoming a data-centric company. In Part 2 of this blog, Suren talks to GSMA about creating a data culture inside a telco organization.

How do you build a data culture inside a telco organization? 

Education and training are important in building a data culture, and the company may possibly need to think of incentivized goals to drive that vision, which is matched to organizational KPIs.   

Importantly, you have to have the right champions in place and drive a ‘Center of Excellence’ inside the organization.  

Today, we see the role of the Chief Data Officer (CDO) that has evolved as a result of this. Such roles allow for strategic alignment in right communications, right training, and builds those stakeholders that actually CARE about data, inside the CSP organization. 

Do all types of data matter? What types of data are more important than others? 

All data is NOT equal. The importance of data types inside a business depends on the value of the business case you are trying to drive.  For example, the organization may identify customer experience or operational efficiencies as key drivers. 

Now what we see is that there is a concept of ‘critical data elements’ such as those that represent the biggest risk to an organization, or those that pose the biggest rewards to an organization. Really focusing on those elements that give the best returns is key. 

A business needs to appoint a ‘data owner’; one who understand the data consumed inside a business, and importantly, understands it while it’s being consumed, and then, prioritizes that data. 

How do you prioritize data? What should be CXOs be looking at? 

To ensure ROI is achieved,  you need to create those individual business cases. It’s very similar to measuring the ROI of any project really.  In an organization, there are many concurrent projects running at the same time, and what happens is that some of these projects tend to get diluted in the midst of handling multiple projects.  

What is critical here, is to have that ‘sponsor’ or the  ‘champion’ to align things.  The sponsor should be accountable for capturing and proving those benefits over a period of time.  

This is generally missed because it’s not a one–off analysis, it should be proven over a period of time, and companies should be doing this through controlled groups inside the organizations. CXOs should be looking at these areas.