Building An Effective Data Strategy In Telco – Part 1

Extracted from the Wavenet CEO Interview hosted by GSMA’s Thrive Digital Event  

Wavenet’s CEO, Suren Pinto, was interviewed by GSMA on the topic of building an effective Data Strategy and Data Culture in a telco organization. The following is an extraction of the question and answer session from the online event hosted on 2nd July 2020. In this blog, Suren briefly touches on the importance of data in today’s’ world, how telco organizations can become a data–driven company, and the process a company should take to implement a data strategy inside a telco orgnaization. 

Why is data important in the context of today? 

Data is everywhere, and we tend to produce a lot of it!  

With IoT and 5G on the horizon for the telco industry, the volume of data that we will be producing will be even greater. 

Data has become all about ‘insights‘ for business, and it is allowing organizations to produce deeper visibility with insights that help companies increase business processes, build efficiencies in operations or event insights that help businesses understand customer insights to increase customer satisfaction. 

The power of data is also in the identification of those customer segments that companies may have missed; it’s the prevalence of data itself, that is going to drive the demand for it. 

It’s not just about the data – it’s also about the quality of data as well as the adoption of modern data management techniques that is going to be important for companies. 

We all have data in our businesses, but how do you become a datadriven’ company? 

You need to have strategic alignment internally,  and also invest in data. 

Everyone needs to get onboard (from top management to front-ending staff) , and the data strategy needs to be seen as a journey for the whole organization, and not necessarily and IT project view.  

It starts with the senior management and the executive teams understanding the value of data and allocating funds to drive the right investments. 

Even staff in their day to day roles need to understand the value of the data; they need to be trained around it, educated on how to use that data, and actively seek those insights, which is important.  

What is the process a company should take in order to implement a data strategy? 

So where do companies start? When implementing a data strategy in your organization, first you need to understand the business benefits or the business outcomes you are looking to drive through data. 

For example, if you want to increase customer satisfaction you need to increase process efficiencies to deliver faster into the market, and better than competition. 

You need to understand the ‘needs’ of the business across the organization – the data needs of your business across the horizon needs to be understood. When you look across your organization you will see that projects tend to happen in silos which results in wasted resources and rework. Non–sharing of capabilities drives inefficiencies, etc. 

Once you understand the organization’s data needs, the next step is to see how you can synergize that data, i.e. look strategically for those synergies across the organization to avoid silos and rework.