iStock_000000818600SmallTelecom and Software Providers Should Seize Opportunities Big Data Brings to their Contact Center Solutions

In the past few years, there has been a marked increase in the production and collection of business data. This includes a substantial portion of unstructured data from social networks, web applications and similar sources. The increasing use of mobile and sensor devices to collect information will only accelerate this trend.

The Contact Center is becoming central to the management of the customer experience and will be a source of more revenue opportunities by the use of Big Data.

When relational database management systems (RDBMS) were designed decades ago, the data we cared about was all structured. Our data models were relatively simple and our systems had limited capacity to store and process information. Today, all of this has changed.

New Big Data technologies have mostly been applied by social networks, online retailers and other Internet services to analyze operations and monitor consumer behavior. Few telecom or software solution providers understand how they can be applied to solve real-world problems in the contact center domain.

Big Data can provide a full understanding of the customers – what makes them tick, why they buy, how they prefer to shop, why they switch, what they are likely to buy next, and what factors lead them to recommend a company to others.

What is Big Data?

Big Data is a term describing the situation where the volume, velocity and variety of data (commonly referred to as the “3 Vs of Big Data”) exceeds an organization’s storage or compute capacity for accurate and timely decision making using traditional analytical systems and methods.

In traditional analytics, a data model is defined, the proper schema is set up in the database, and then the data is collected, stored and once there is a complete data set, it can be queried and the answers provided.

What if there is so much data that the system cannot handle its storage or processing? What if the data is unstructured and cannot be stored in well-defined tables? What if you would like to get answers to queries as data is still being collected? What if you need answers to new queries that were not predicted in the original data model? What if the system is so complex that you cannot fully model it?

With Big Data, storage technologies can accumulate very large amounts of data and computer processing power to test a very large number of correlations, in real-time, not just the correlations predicted in your data model after collecting a complete data set. And they can support multiple sources of data, not just the structured data sitting in well-behaved database tables.

What can Big Data do for me?

With Big Data, it is possible to deduce context, draw insight, identify patterns, and predict behavior, including:

  • Customer purchase and interaction history, not just the history of the current issue ticket
  • User behavior on the website, even before the customer calls
  • User comments in social media, outside the context of communication with the contact center
  • Analysis of content of previous unstructured communication by email

The result of the analysis can help direct customers to the right information more effectively (hopefully even before the customer calls) or help service agents save time, ask less questions, and solve problems; resulting in a better customer experience.

For more details on Big Data technologies, including an overview of the Big Data Software Stack, please download the Daitan white paper “Big Data Technology and its Impact on Contact Centers”.