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Who Has The Largest Predictive Data Analytics?

With vast amount of data that currently available, who should be able to predict the future the most? Should it be Google? Facebook? Twitter? Google claim to be able to predict the flu epidemic in the future, and other things. Is it because Google has the biggest data in this world? Or it is not?

If big data can predict the future, then those who have the biggest data are the ones who can better predict what will happened next. If we could only know what are people are doing, thinking, eating, drinking, buying, spending, talking, listening at all times, we should be able to understand the patterns, the repeated behavior across time, thus, predicting what will happen again in similar situation in the future.

These things should be very familiar isn't it? People really do share what they are doing, thinking, etc at all times. Should it be Facebook to have the best predictive ability? Or twitter? Or is it a more traditional channel like credit card? or perhaps VISA? They should know each and every little thing people buy, spend, where and when.

I think, those who have the biggest data are the ones who make people carry or wear them all the times: smartphones, credit cards, wearable devices (such as google glass, or iwatch). Even right now, the new Google's Moto X can actively 'listening' to whatever the owner says all the time. If only Google can records all the words of what people say, their emotion, what people hear or listen at all times, then the future is on their hands. I'm not saying that Google would do that, but they can if they want to. These things are the first main sources of where big data come from.

Who else can have these predictive ability? I think the telecommunication company should be the one who should have this ability the most. They are the ones who bridge between people and these smart phones or internet companies.

Do telecommunication companies have the largest predictive data analytics?

I googled the information if telco companies have big data and predictive analytics ability. They do. However, most of telco companies only use predictive analytics to improve their traditional key drivers, such as Average Revenue Per User (ARPU), Minutes of Use (MOU) and Churn. I would think that the reason they only use predictive analytics up to this extent is because they care about their (current) customers (needs). Their main income is mostly coming from the customer's bandwidth usage. Their main investment is building the biggest and fastest communication bandwidth across the world and (hoping) customers are flocking to use these bandwidth at premium price, thus they can get a good return on investment in the long run.

This business model has been proven to provide a great result for telecommunication industries in the past 50 years. However, I think this things will change very soon. Just like a traditional newspaper companies is losing to a more agile and faster internet news company or community news sharing. The telecommunication industry might as well suffer a defeat from community based wifi sharing. They don't need use the voice line anymore. Even they don't need to subscribe a data plan anymore. So where should the telco companies earn their income?

In order the adapt to the future, telco industry should adapt their business model. Some of them already did. For example, the biggest Indonesian telecom company PT Telkom Indonesia, since early of year 2000 they already broaden their services to include TV cable, internet portal, multimedia, e-payment, system integration, e-commerce and other content business. They built a new subsidiary company called PT Multimedia Nusantara (Metra) to focus on these telco adjacent industries. This way they could potentially get the biggest consumer data available in Indonesia, the 4th largest population in the world.

Using predictive analytics telecommunication companies should be able to move "intelligently" toward the next revenue generation services by listening to dynamic market requirement to adapt their business model constantly. However, the question is, are they doing it? Are the telecommunication companies are currently able to move "intelligently" toward their next revenue generation services? Are they doing it across their business or still divided in a silo?

If the telecommunication companies utilize the power of predictive analytics to the extreme, then the information of what people are doing, thinking, talking, watching, reading, spending, buying, having breakfast, having holiday, having new born babies, getting married, etc, you name it; they should be able to predict it. Or should they?

What do you think?

Blog: http://haveasanookday.wordpress.com

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Comment by Eka Aulia on August 17, 2013 at 7:04pm
I think you are right Vincent. Other than that, perhaps online gambling industry might use predictive analytics really well too.

Come to think of it, to be able to predict on anything with large and readily available data, the government should have one. Especially to predict criminal activity and corruption. I think IBM have this service to the police and governments.
Comment by Vincent Granville on August 17, 2013 at 11:58am

I once heard that the porn industry is a far bigger consumer of Internet bandwidth than Google, though it does not mean that they have or analyze more data. Unless you consider porn videos to be data - in some sense it is as they have to figure out what sells best, and maybe they use video analytics to figure that out.

Comment by Eka Aulia on August 15, 2013 at 4:46pm

Thanks for comment Eric. I fully agree that big is not always important. It should be those who has the right and most useful data should be the winner. What I would like to bring up in this discussion is to understand who should have the biggest predictive data, handy at all times, regardless of what will be the goal is. Thus, whenever needed, the data is readily available. Come to think of it, perhaps the government should be the one who should have the biggest predictive data. Or maybe not?

I agree with you Vincent. I'd think predictive analytics is one way to support intuition. Your intuition of what will happen in 2050 is more likely based on the past information that you've encountered, thus, its also predictive analytics :)

Comment by Vincent Granville on August 15, 2013 at 12:41pm

Or who has the longer-term correct forecast, be it stock market, weather forecast, sales forecast etc. It might or might not require big data. It might not require any data at all, if you have vision and intuition. For instance I predict that in 2050, much fewer people will work for large corporations or centralized governments. We will see more independent entrepreneurs, bakers, plumbers or independent data scientists. This is based on no data, yet it kind of makes lots of sense. Unfortunately, I won't be alive anymore to see if my prediction is correct. 

Comment by Eric King on August 15, 2013 at 11:13am

Instead of who has the largest predictive analytics, I think we should be asking "who has the most purposeful, understandable, measurable, accountable, impactful and residual predictive analytics"  -- regardless of size!!  

Most organizations are so caught up with the scalability issues within the Big Data movement, that they're losing sight of how to really leverage the valuable information hidden within.  As such, they'll become even more data-rich, but remain information-poor.  

The masses will eventually move downstream with their ginormous wads of data and reallize that they have to acheive return on their massive Big Data investments.  As this happens, advanced analytics will be the hottest commodity and practice in the entire  BD / BI space.

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