Telcos are making progress on the data-driven path. We asked experienced Chief Data Officers about their current short- and mid-term priorities to uncover how to successfully steer the telco towards the ambition of becoming data-driven organisations.
Becoming data-driven is an evolving journey
Telcos have started on the path to leveraging data more fully but techniques, technologies and their implications are continuously emerging and evolving – posing new opportunities and challenges for the teams responsible for plotting their course.
Although somewhat overused, the “data-driven” refrain provides a banner under which the Chief Data Officer (CDO) and other teams throughout the telco can remind the organisation of the importance of the work that they are doing. As new technologies become available and capabilities such as automation progress in their sophistication, there will continue to be a steady stream of demands on the data team from across the organisation. There will also be an increase in demand from outside the organization as telcos begin to play in multiple new ecosystems.
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STL Partners conducted primary and secondary research to determine the current priorities for telcos that have progressed some way down the data-driven track. During our primary research, we spoke to four Chief Data Officers (CDOs) – or equivalent – at Orange, Zain, Telefónica and Vodafone and asked them about their core focus areas in the short- and mid-term and how they were driving forward the data-driven telco agenda. Topics for discussion included:
- Their vision and expected future strategy
- Their current focus areas
- The work that they are undertaking to improve organisational structure and culture
- Their priorities for future technology roll out.
As shown in the figure below, we note that some areas of priority remain unchanged from previous years and continue to be a focus in 2023, while new ones (shown in red) are appearing on the horizon.
Priorities for the CDO and their team
Source: STL Partners
Priorities are evolving from being focused specifically on accessing data and other relatively discrete A3 projects, to much more strategic and organisation-wide activities. As such, the scope of the CDO role is expanding.
Table of contents
- Executive Summary
- Vision and strategy
- Organisation and culture
- Next steps
- Priority 1: Select the right internal focus
- How to select the most impactful projects
- How to maintain a pipeline of successful projects
- Priority 2: Create a joined-up organisation
- A joined-up organization structure
- Promoting the data culture
- Skill sets of the Chief Data Officer (CDO)
- Priority 3: Delivering a useable data set
- Building a long-term data quality practise
- Hybrid-cloud data deployment
- Priority 4: Building data tools for all
- Four goals for the data-driven telco
- Data-driven telecoms: Navigating regulation
- The future of data monetisation: Enabling data-driven customers
- Telco A3: Skilling up for the long-term
- Breaking down silos for telco adaptability
- The state of telco transformation