DataSpark: Lessons on building a new telco (data) business

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Singtel’s data analytics business, DataSpark, has achieved some impressive results, but scaling is hard. Its path highlights lessons on dealing with the challenges facing all telcos building new businesses, e.g. how to govern and manage relationships with the broader organisation, measuring success, and finding the right skills and partners.


Format: PDF filePages: 24 pagesCharts: 7Author: Charlotte PatrickPublication Date: December 2020

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
    • Two diverging strategies for a small, independent data unit
    • Scaling up the data business as an integrated unit
  • Introduction
    • DataSpark’s progress to date
  • DataSpark’s approach to building a data unit
    • What services does it offer?
    • Go-to-market: Different approaches for internal and external customers
    • Organisational structure: Where should a data unit go?
  • How to scale a data business?
    • The immediate growth opportunities
    • Following in others’ footsteps
    • Building new capabilities for external monetisation
  • Assessing future strategies for DataSpark
    • Scenario 1: Double down on internal data applications
    • Scenario 2: Continue building an independent business

Table of Figures

  • Figure 1: The pros and cons of creating a separate data unit
  • Figure 2: DataSpark’s Capex Optimiser
  • Figure 3: COVID-19 insight services for the Australian local government
  • Figure 4: Singtel group structure
  • Figure 5: DataSpark is one of three main business areas in Group Digital Life
  • Figure 6: Internal and external data analytics opportunities
  • Figure 7: Future capabilities DataSpark could focus on developing

Technologies and industry terms referenced include: Advertising, algorithms, asset tracking, Australia, Authentication, customer experience, customer insight, cyber security, data marketplace, data monetisation, data science, economies of scale, Financial Services, Government, Hyperscalers, IoT, media, Privacy, real estate, sales expertise, system integration, Tourism, training, transport