How to use Big Data to create new customer services and products
The billions of things that fall under the domain of IoT produce massive volumes of data, and this is where the greatest potential lies. Tapping into those data streams will allow businesses to improve manageability and ease of use for end users, and enable quantum leaps in the level and quality of customer service.
Big data alone means nothing. More important is relevant data. Early on, big data trends focused on accumulating as many data points as possible, without a specific purpose, and employing analytics tools to spot trends.
There is a certain amount of value in this method, but the better approach – one that yields more useful results and new applications – is to begin the big data process with a goal in mind, focusing on accumulating the right type of data, and using it to find solutions to specific problems.
IDC reports that, by 2023, IoT will generate annual sales of $9.1 trillion, and Cisco predicts that, by the same time, there will be over 60 billion connected devices. How can companies capitalize on this value? Certainly, manufacturers of embedded devices that put the “smart” in smart home have a rosy future. But the bulk of that $9.1 trillion won’t come from selling tiny embedded sensors to the manufacturers of home devices, or even from the devices themselves. The big revenues will come from services.
The trend is moving towards using big data as a means of getting closer to the customer. According to a report funded by IBM, 93 percent of communications service providers will focus on “getting closer to the customer” over the next five years, and 70 percent will concentrate on improving collaboration with other organizations in their ecosystem.
Customer intelligence is a primary function of Big Data, and IoT enables the greatest opportunity yet to collect Big Data, as more customers and end users connect to their devices, appliances, homes, and automobiles via the Internet. The benefits of creating and using a framework that makes full use of that data include the following:
A constant flow of data allows businesses to spot frequently occurring problems or issues, and find opportunities for ongoing improvement.
Collection of Big Data – which helps companies better understand the customer – can uncover revenue opportunities that may otherwise go unnoticed, such as demand for additional services or products.
Better understanding of usage patterns
In a a competitive environment, differentiation, customer retention, and increased ARPU are just as important as new customer acquisition. IoT helps companies understand their customers. They could, for example, gain new insight into the devices their customers already have, what needs to be upgraded or might be lacking – information vital to increasing average revenue per customer. Does the customer own product X but not product Y? The IoT management layer reveals this information, allowing marketing teams to better target customer messages.
Thus, the Internet of Things allows brands to build and maintain high-value customer relationships and discover new service-driven revenue growth opportunities.
The editor of SensorMap, and pursuer of relatively interesting information, Simon has a Masters Degree in Creative Writing and Journalism from the University of Wales, and is a photo-journalist and writer whose written and photographic work has been represented by the AFP news agency and appeared in newspapers across Europe and Asia.