How Sprint uses Big Data in practice
I spoke to Jason Delker, chief technology and data officer at Pinsight, who told me that the fact mobile network data can be directly linked to a real bill-paying customer makes it uniquely valuable.
A lot of digital information generated online is anchored to nothing more substantial than an email address – which anyone can easily set up using false information. Mobile network user data, on the other hand, is far more likely to be tied to a real person, whose credentials were checked through credit records and other ID verification procedures when they opened their account.
Delker tells me, “First party authenticated data is really the best data – and only network operators have access to it because of their expensive wireless networks. As a result we have a better insight into what types of ads we may be able to place based on the information we have about a specific subscriber. Often we’ve found that the data we have which is self-reported versus the data we have which has been authenticated using network data is substantially different.”
The technical details
The Pinsight platform operates using locational, behavioural and demographic data. It ingests around 60 terabytes of new customer data every day. Data is split between two systems: personally identifiable proprietary information is kept on Pinsight’s own secure Hadoop in-house system, while application data and product platforms are run from AmazonWeb Service (AWS) cloud servers. The team uses the Datameer analytics platform for number crunching.
Ideas and insights you can steal
Mobile operators have access to a wealth of uniquely insightful and,importantly, verifiable data that can be used to make advertising more relevant and efficient. Customer data can provide a very valuable additional revenue stream for companies that put resources into leveraging it. This can be used to drive down prices in the core business and pass additional value onto customers.
You can read more about how Sprint is using Big Data to drive success in Big Data in Practice: How 45 Successful Companies Used Big Data Analytics to Deliver Extraordinary Results.
Bernard Marr is a bestselling author, keynote speaker, and advisor to companies and governments. He has worked with and advised many of the world's best-known organisations. LinkedIn has recently ranked Bernard as one of the top 10 Business Influencers in the world (in fact, No 5 - just behind Bill Gates and Richard Branson). He writes on the topics of intelligent business performance for various publications including Forbes, HuffPost, and LinkedIn Pulse. His blogs and SlideShare presentation have millions of readers.