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Smarter with Data: The Triumph of Data Analytics

Three out of four companies are convinced that data analytics is the next big thing. But how do companies become a data-driven company? A field report on the triumph of data analytics at Deutsche Telekom.

As the Center for Strategic Projects (CSP), we have been increasingly supporting data analytics initiatives at Deutsche Telekom for more than three years now. This includes, for example, advancing concrete analytics applications within human resources, technology and service. However, overarching strategic transformation projects in the area of data analytics were also important steps on our journey to an increasingly data-driven Telekom. At the end of this journey, we aim to achieve more satisfied customers, increased revenue and more efficient processes.

Increased efficiency through improved employee processes, for example, was the goal of the human resources colleagues. Obviously our colleagues knew that Data Analytics can also be a solid basis for process optimization with the well-founded evaluations of existing information - but they needed support for the concrete implementation. We were happy to be part of the team to contribute our experience. After all, even before the data analysis can start, some questions have to be answered: Which data are available - and in which quality? How do we interpret stored data? Are there any data that are particularly worth protecting and therefore need to be anonymized? On the one hand, we supported our colleagues in clarifying the relevant questions in advance. On the other hand, we helped them to interpret the interim results and to initiate further analyses. Thanks to Data Analytics, we were able to take a very close look at which processes need to be optimized in order to reduce throughput times and error rates in employee processes. This ultimately helped our colleagues to use resources in a targeted manner where there is potential for optimization.

Small and large success stories such as this one were important to raise awareness at Telekom that Data Analytics can also provide concrete added value in the magenta Group. And that the first use cases can also be handled with a manageable effort.

Data has a better idea in illuminated letters in front of a skyline

In the future, corporate decisions will be made increasingly based on data analytics and evaluations. © Unsplash

Great interest in data analytics

As buzzwords, Big Data and Data Analytics have long been present in many companies: According to the industry association BITKOM, 74 percent of all companies, consider Big Data to be a key competitive technology. 57 percent are already planning investments or are already in the process of the implementation. In other words, they have decided to make business decisions more data-driven in the future. That's a good thing. Our Group supports these companies, for example, with the Data Intelligence Hub: On this platform, companies can exchange data with each other - Deutsche Telekom assumes the role of a trustee who responsibly handles customer data.

Telekom as a data-driven company

As the example from Human Resources shows, our Group not only supports business customers in the use of Data Analytics. We also want to develop ourselves into an increasingly data-driven Group with regard to internal processes and customer processes. Many Group divisions rely on data analytics and seek our support for corresponding projects - in addition to human resources, these include technology and customer service. How do we experience our Group colleagues in these projects? They are open to the increased evaluation of our data treasure trove and are inspired by past successes. Sometimes, however, they are unsure about the effort behind Data Analytics and where to start first. With our support, they want to find out which use cases offer the greatest added value. How the essential information can be filtered out from the huge datasets. And how to combine, visualize and interpret them.

Data Analytics revolutionizes our business

Such projects are extremely exciting, not only for our corporate colleagues, but also for us as inhouse consultants. We are convinced that the intelligent handling of data will not only make our work easier, improve internal processes and provide a unique customer experience, but will also revolutionize our business in many areas. The CSP regards itself as a translator in the projects - between the requirements of the business side and the possibilities offered by our data treasure trove. We work with our internal customers to develop possible use cases - and help them to prioritize them. We identify technical and organizational challenges and ensure that the barriers can be overcome in the long term. And we see ourselves as ambassadors for a data-driven mindset within the Group. This also includes drawing the right conclusions for the strategy and necessary transformations from analysis results.

Better service - due to data analysis

Telekom customer service has also begun to tap the full potential of data analytics. And there is a great deal of this potential in this area in particular. The result of our project: Our customer service improved the customer experience with predictive maintenance - preventing or fixing faults on routers remotely before the customer notices something. On the one hand, this increases customer satisfaction for almost 14 million broadband customers who no longer have to deal with a problem themselves.

 Optional – Bild Urheber

The times when knowledge was only in books are over. Today, every company possesses a wealth of data. It can be lifted with Data Analytics. © Pexels

The examples from Human Resources and Customer Service highlight what a huge data treasure trove Telekom has. It is a fantastic basis from which we can get many valuable insights, i.e. business ideas and processes, that will help us to optimize our cooperation both internally and with our private and business customers, thereby increasing customer satisfaction, revenue and profitability. In addition, this data is of course not stored in a single vault, but is distributed across many areas of the Group. So how do we lift and use this dataset? One answer to this central question is our Data Analytics program, where we have brought together many areas of our Group to advance the topic as a whole. Result? For example, a uniform IT platform that provides all data processing tools centrally and on which different divisions and national companies can work together. In this way, the program makes a huge contribution to ensuring that Data Analytics can be used today in a wide variety of business areas without long set-up times and double work.

Another important success factor of the Data Analytics program was its overarching focus. Which use cases provide the greatest added value? Which data analyses are advantageous for several national companies? Where do we achieve the best ratio between effort and result? In order to focus our efforts, we have identified top-use cases, such as our data-driven fiber optic expansion. With Data Analytics, it is easy to determine in which areas of the fiber optic expansion we will reach exactly those customers who would like to book a corresponding connection later. A further important pillar of the Data Analytics program was the precise analysis of which data experts are still missing in our Group in order to make the best use of our data resources. Ultimately, a whole series of new positions were created for data scientists and data engineers, who now implement Deutsche Telekom's top-use cases. Modern data governance is also critical to the success of data analytics - in other words, the interplay of data privacy and security, data quality, documentation and transparency. Since the greatest potential lies in linking data from different areas, common standards are essential.

Data Analytics is changing the world of work of the future - including the world of our consultants.

The areas of application of Data Analytics are almost limitless. We are convinced that our work at the Center for Strategic Projects will be increasingly shaped by this in the future. As a trusted advisor for telecom management, it will become increasingly important for us as consultants to explain the potentials and pitfalls of data analytics, to provide well-founded opinions on data topics and to set decisive impulses in the process. We are already seeing an exciting effect in decision-making bodies: More and more, a solid factual basis based on data analysis is required for important discussions - in order to make decisions more data-based and thus better informed.

In order to be perfectly prepared for this new world of work, we make sure that all consultants have the necessary basic data analytics knowledge and use a variety of training formats. We network closely with thought leaders in the Group and beyond. And we are constantly expanding our wealth of experience in the most important consulting projects in the field of data analytics.

As CSP, we look forward to continuing to actively accompany Telekom's journey to an increasingly data-driven company. And we are confident that we will achieve our goal: Visible successes through the use of data analytics have long been achieved. This topic is attracting a great deal of attention from top management. And the Group is gaining in implementation speed - also thanks to new tools, prioritized top-use cases, new data experts and modern data governance.