Mobile Telco Dials In and Harnesses Big Data with Hadoop
Smartphones have transformed our daily lives. A key indicator of this trend is our increased spend on data plans versus voice. We are a new generation of people who are in a constant state of activity, communication, and community building wherever we go ─ including the couch in front of the television where we can multi-screen and multi-task!
What does this mean for the Mobile Telecom industry? For one of the top five mobile phone service providers in the world, responsible for developing and managing advanced data services for European countries with data services including mobile internet access for various devices, mobile email, instant messaging, news, weather updates and traffic reports ─ it means as mobile data services grow in revenue, so does the need to monitor that contribution easily and accurately. While that sounds obvious, the mobile telecom growth rate has expanded so rapidly, the company’s existing systems could not keep up. And once the business leaders had the data – they wouldn’t trust it. Making accurate business decisions at the right time would be essential for their success and growth.
Big Data Challenge
The customer – a Mobile Telecom giant – had an existing method for determining business performance was ad hoc and decentralized. There was no single system to extract the information in a reliable and consistent manner. “We had a mix of systems and information which needed lots of cross-checking – if indeed this was even possible. Getting access to data took a long time and, even then, the business users in marketing had no real confidence in the information they were getting.” This in turn compromised their ability to develop and manage these services.
In order to gain market share and stay competitive, the customer had to be able to:
- Leverage the data from mobile usage to get accurate information about real customer activity to provide improved levels of customer satisfaction.
- Spot upcoming trends in mobile use to drive intelligent marketing.
- Improve the information on customer usage, which drives the changes needed to their service offerings, such as the ability to offer the latest mobile phone technologies.
- Handle large volumes of data, be easily configurable by in-house business users, and provide graphical representations of the results
The strategy included harnessing Hadoop to handle the large volumes of data – 36 terabytes- that had to be consolidated into a single environment. Our Mobile Telecom customer decided to use Actuate – a Hortonworks partner in open source based Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) technology that connects analytics capabilities directly to Hadoop. Actuate’s ability to report directly against the Hadoop big data source, meanwhile, allows business users to generate on-demand analytics and reports consisting of thousands of pages in a matter of seconds through an easy-to-use web portal, with negligible training.
The Mobile Telecom giant now has a single source of clean data they can stand behind with absolute confidence in making the right decisions to stay competitive, and keep customer satisfaction levels high. In addition, the consumer data services division is now in a position where it can replace several of its older systems, dropping extra licenses and hardware, because of the ability to do all of its business analytics in one place.
A Business Intelligence Analyst at the company stated; “It’s all automatic. Before, business users would be sending emails and calls to chase the data. Anyone across the whole business can have access to the information they need, and find it on their own. I particularly like the ability to drill down into the figures. You can now see at a glance what’s happening right across our activities.”
Customers’ want accurate and fast analytics reporting without a lot of training so a partnership between Hortonworks and Actuate, just makes big data sense.
Actuate founded and co-leads the BIRT (Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools) open source project with the Eclipse Foundation, the home of the open source Eclipse Development Framework, the leading IDE worldwide. The BIRT project’s goal was to bring the web design metaphor to creating visualizations of data.