Teradata warehouse digs for telco business

Last month Teradata, a division of NCR Corp., released a Web-enabled data management tool for the telecommunications industry, the Communications Logical Data Model v6.0 (cLDM 6.0). It provides more support for wireless devices and helps telcos determine how they generate revenue by tracking customer activities on their Web sites.

“Pagers, laptops, Palm devices and cell phones are the conduit to new revenue streams for communication service providers,” said Rick Makos, president of Teradata Canada.

According to the company, this model helps enterprises obtain information about which products sell best and why. It can also identify locations or customer segments that have the highest data usage, and can track customer activity on Web sites, not only from a user’s activities on wired connections but now from activities on wireless devices.

Using the clickstream technology, service providers can track a customer’s activity through their Web site, from where they initially entered the Web site, mapping everything they click on to determine what combination of clicks leads to a buying behaviour, said Makos.

“We have found a way to actually take all those little clicks, do an analysis, and store them properly under the data model, so you can actually say ‘okay, these various clicks actually generate a transaction and a certain behaviour’,” he explained.

“It may not be the fact they went on the Web site, it could be a newsletter that came to them that they clicked on and got passed through a different Web site (to the company’s Web site), and then they ordered.”

Bob Moran, vice-president and managing director, data knowledge and analytics at the Boston-based Aberdeen Group, said Teradata’s cLDM 6.0 is the best decision-support database in the land, but that its strengths in Teradata’s understanding of the telecommunications business.

“They have extensively studied the interactions that are required or could be connected within the communications business,” he said.

“What happens is Teradata walks into an institution and is instructive in their model, because many, if not most telecommunications suppliers…don’t have a map of what they do. Before you can build a really innovative data warehouse and marketing system for communications, you have got to have a grasp of what you’re going to model.”

Bell Canada, headquartered in Toronto, has been a user of cLDM for the past two years. While it has not upgraded to the current version, Bell is evaluating upgrade potential, according to Charles Thompson, associate director, enterprise data warehouse planning. He said Bell selected cLDM because it was using Teradata’s data warehouse and there was synergy between the database and the data model. However, users only need any SQL compliant database to employ cLDM.

Thompson agreed with Moran that Teradata has an excellent understanding of the communications industry, but said that cLDM is simply a framework which telcos can tailor to fit their needs.

“The data model is really a framework, and details need to be added to it,” he said, adding that users would need to hire professional consulting services either from Teradata if they don’t have in-house support to help customize the model.

But he added that using cLDM saved Bell considerable time and effort in developing their own data model. “It fits the business problems,” he said.

CLDM 6.0 has the ability to compare what customers prefer to do on company Web sites as opposed to other channels such as a call centre, and can determine, through data analysis, from where the most profitable customers are coming and how they enter the company’s Web site.

As a result of these analyses, Makos said the general effectiveness of a company’s Web site could be determined, because with the clickstream technology all activity on a Web site is tracked, regardless of whether it is accessed via a wired computer, laptop, or a variety of wireless devices. This means companies could eliminate sections of their Web sites that aren’t often visited, or revamp them so they have more appeal to customers.

Teradata is based in Dayton, Ohio. For more information, visit www.teradata.com, or call (937) 445-5000.

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