“Emerging technologies for Revenue Assurance and Big Data Analytics”

by Folakemi Taiwo

identifying gaps and design flaws which drive up operating costs • Effectively communicate business risks to management. in order to: • Reduce the risk of revenue leakage. processes.What is Revenue Assurance? Revenue assurance is the methodology of increasing a company's income by identifying where revenue gets lost. revenues and cash flows without influencing demand. in order to allow informed decisions and eliminate surprises. It is an activity that uses data quality and process improvement methods to improve profits. Its activities are designed to provide assurance that business processes and systems are performing as developed. technology and information responsible for monitoring the revenue process. This involves reviewing systems and records that are associated with revenue streams to ensure billable services are correctly recorded and collected. by ensuring that risks have been identified and appropriately addressed • Promote operational efficiency. and minimizing such losses by eliminating revenue leakage and lowering operating costs. It engages a combination of organizational structure. . Revenue is gained by doing things better rather than getting more revenue from customers or services. by analyzing processes and systems.

image. and manage very large data sets and storage facilities. This flood of data is generated by connected devices— from PCs and smart phones to sensors such as RFID (radio frequency ID) readers and traffic cams. It is huge data sets that are orders of magnitude larger (volume). document. video. derived meaning. including text. neural networks. including structured. computational mathematics. Big data refers to the tools. manipulate. and ultimately the ability to respond to the world with greater intelligence. It is heterogeneous and comes in many formats. and artificial intelligence to explore the data and to discover interrelationships and patterns. . It uses sophisticated quantitative methods such as machine learning. more diverse. semi-structured. and unstructured data (variety). and arriving faster (velocity) than you or your organization has had to deal with before. processes and procedures allowing an organization to create. indicators for decisions. The real value of big data is in the insights it produces when analyzed— discovered patterns.What is big data analytics In simplest terms. and more. robotics. Big data analytics is a set of advanced technologies designed to work with large volumes of heterogeneous data.

and operations through social network sites. This large pool of information can be captured. They can track conversations on social media to understand what customers are saying about their products and services and take pro-active measures to defend their brand image and reputation. By analyzing transactional data at each level of engagement with the customer—from the first click on the operator’s website to an interaction with a customer care executive. suppliers. multimedia and smart phones usage. For telecom operators. . leading to a final purchase or non-purchase – telecom operators can gauge if the customer’s experience was seamless or not. stored. Big Data also offers opportunities to gain cross channel insights. aggregated. analyzing this diverse and unformatted digital data streams can reveal new sources of economic value and provide fresh insights into customer behavior.RA and Big data analytics Telecom operators capture trillions of bytes of unstructured information about their customers. and analyzed as part of every sector and function of the global economy with big data analytics. They can also look at possibility of business hypothesis testing by digging deeper into this unstructured pool of information and analyzing it against existing business warehouse data with accuracy.

Big Data poses challenges in processing large volumes in almost near-real-time latency. and so on. This helps to understand customers’ expectations and deliver a much more personalized experience. compliance. payments history. consumption behavior in terms of voice and data services. campaign management. service experience. location. customer churn prevention. call-detail records (CDR) analysis. risk analysis and fraud detection. preferences. pose big security implications for users. favorites. Service providers have a treasure trove of data related to an individual subscriber’s taste.RA and Big data analytics The telecom sector is leveraging big-data in revenue assurance and price optimization. A few percentage points of leakage savings will improve the bottom lines significantly. . Bringing in the data closer to the origin also enhances the timeliness and accuracy of fraud detection and revenue assurance. network performance. However the vast infrastructure requirements and data/content analytics made possible by Big Data.

Google File System. many of them open source. The data is distributed as a file system (e. . Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS)) or as a distributed Structured Query Language (SQL) . Cassandra.RA and Big data analytics New technologies. are emerging to handle and analyze these massive amounts of data.g. The current trend is to distribute and process the data across clusters of huge numbers of low spec servers to obtain cost effective scalable architecture. The analysis is then mapped across the data using ‘Advanced SQL’ or Hadoop/MapReduce.database (e.or ‘No SQL’. MongoDB).g.

row-oriented databases are excellent for online transaction processing with high update speeds. or even structured data. The downside to these databases is that they will generally only allow batch updates. having a much slower update time than traditional models. . They achieve performance gains by doing away with some (or all) of the restrictions traditionally associated with conventional databases. in exchange for scalability and distributed processing. semi-structured. such as read-write consistency. instead of rows.Emerging technologies Column-oriented databases .Traditional. such as key-value stores and document stores. but they fall short on query performance as the data volumes grow and as data becomes more unstructured. which focus on the storage and retrieval of large volumes of unstructured. Column-oriented databases store data with a focus on columns. allowing for huge data compression and very fast query times. Schema-less databases. or NoSQL databases – There are several database types that fit into this category.

web-based or social media data.Emerging technologies MapReduce – This is a programming paradigm that allows for massive job execution scalability against thousands of servers or clusters of servers. Any MapReduce implementation consists of two tasks: • The “Map” task. where several of the outputs of the “Map” task are combined to form a reduced set of tuples (hence the name). . either aggregating multiple sources of data in order to do large scale processing. Hadoop – Hadoop is by far the most popular implementation of MapReduce. where an input dataset is converted into a different set of key/value pairs. or tuples. such as location-based data from weather or traffic sensors. or even reading data from a database in order to run processor-intensive machine learning jobs. It has several different applications. but one of the top use cases is for large volumes of constantly changing data. or machine-tomachine transactional data. • The “Reduce” task. being an entirely open source platform for handling Big Data. It is flexible enough to be able to work with multiple data sources.

Unlike Hive. . has also been made fully open source. but has been made open source for some time now. It amplifies the reach of Hadoop. and. such as serving personalized content. recommendations and decisions. being built on top of HBase. instead of a “SQL-like” language. and it’s a higher-level abstraction of the Hadoop framework that allows anyone to make queries against data stored in a Hadoop cluster just as if they were manipulating a conventional data store. just like Hive.Emerging technologies Hive – Hive is a “SQL-like” bridge that allows conventional BI applications to run queries against a Hadoop cluster. however. which is itself a database layer on top of Hadoop. PIG consists of a “Perl-like” language that allows for query execution over data stored on a Hadoop cluster. PIG – PIG is another bridge that tries to bring Hadoop closer to the realities of developers and business users. making it more familiar for BI users. It allows web sites to better explore and work with their user data. similar to Hive. PIG was developed by Yahoo!. It was developed originally by Facebook. WibiData – WibiData is a combination of web analytics with Hadoop. enabling real-time responses to user behavior.

Emerging technologies PLATFORA – Perhaps the greatest limitation of Hadoop is that it is a very low-level implementation of MapReduce. . Machine learning. thus creating an abstraction layer that anyone can exploit to simplify and organize datasets stored in Hadoop. eliminating the interactivity that users enjoyed with conventional databases. SkyTree – SkyTree is a high-performance machine learning and data analytics platform focused specifically on handling Big Data. PLATFORA is a platform that turns user’s queries into Hadoop jobs automatically. a full cycle can take hours. in turn. is an essential part of Big Data. The main evolutions in this space are related to data compression and storage virtualization. or even conventional automated exploration methods unfeasible or too expensive. since the massive data volumes make manual exploration. Storage Technologies – As the data volumes grow. Between preparing. so does the need for efficient and effective storage techniques. requiring extensive developer knowledge to operate. testing and running jobs.

Cloud computing enables companies of all sizes to get more value from their data than ever before. if not all. most. The overall implication for revenue assurance is that by extracting useful information from the information that is currently hidden and untapped in many systems and networks. by enabling blazing-fast analytics at a fraction of previous costs. Most cloud vendors are already offering hosted Hadoop clusters that can be scaled on demand according to their user’s needs. Also. This. CSPs can provide a better customer experience. develop more targeted and intelligent marketing programs and develop new business models that will ultimately enable them to maximize their top and bottom lines.Conclusion From the emerging technologies above. . many of the products and platforms mentioned are either entirely cloud-based or have cloud versions themselves. Big Data and cloud computing go hand-in-hand. creating more need for processing power and driving a virtuous circle. in turn drives companies to acquire and store even more data. of these technologies are closely associated with the cloud.

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