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Software Infrastructure Global Viewpoint – April 2017

Embedding Big Data is a Must

How can cable and broadband companies embed data-driven practices to stay competitive, drive engagement and improve revenue? Simon Trudelle, senior product marketing manager at NAGRA explains.

With new ecosystem players, such as OTT SVOD providers that extensively use data science technology to improve the relevance of their content catalogues, and the performance of the user experience – both driving engagement and revenues – it has become clear that cable companies need to make use of similar technologies and tools to stay competitive.

“Through continuous investments in technologies like DOCSIS and server virtualization, cable broadband companies have been evolving their technology stacks to become more IP-centric when it comes to delivering subscriber services, in particular for TV services,” says NAGRA'sTrudelle. “Two-way TV systems create the foundations to leverage usage, network, systems and external data sources to help drive business success, from improving the overall TV experience across all screens, to growing service usage and revenues, and bringing down content acquisition costs or optimizing the value of the advertising inventory.”

To achieve this, he says, service providers need to rely on a modern cloud-ready platform to ensure that large volumes of data can be collected and processed in real-time, at minimal costs and with maximum scalability and flexibility.

“This next generation data-driven platform should make use of the latest big data technologies and tools to ingest and process real-time data. It can then empower data scientists and managers to quickly and interactively identify scenarios where business performance can be improved by leveraging data intelligence.

“The platform should also provide easy access to a configurable library of relevant “template” use cases that helps managers focus their analysis on the most important business opportunities, starting from a Pay-TV-centric set of examples. Finally, the platform should also enable interfaces to other business applications (CRM and other management systems) to drive business actions, such as dynamically producing a list of customers likely to churn and that need to be contacted by the customer service team, or a list of secondary TV channels and programs that have low viewership and deliver limited subscriber value, in effect turning data intelligence into actionable business insights.”

Simon Trudelle, senior product marketing manager at NAGRA, suggests that service providers embrace cloud-centric platforms that can support big data solutions.

Simon Trudelle, senior product marketing manager at NAGRA, suggests that service providers embrace cloud-centric platforms that can support big data solutions.

In the TV space, services providers use such techniques to improve STB and multiscreen app usage, understand viewer behaviour and interest for specific TV programs, drive up OTT VOD store consumption, or analyse the root causes of churn by customer segment among possible use cases. Going a step further, industry pioneers like Altice Group’s Cablevision in the United States or Sky in the UK have used data techniques, coupled with a smart ad engine, to deliver more targeted TV advertising and increase ad revenues.

“It is clear that a fully connected, two-way TV platform is the foundation to a data-driven business strategy, so there is an imperative to make sure that all TV screens, from STBs to player apps on consumer devices, run applications that collect data,” asserts Trudelle.

Yet leveraging big data and analytics goes beyond traditional dashboarding and data mining. It needs to use a new set of tools and technologies that can rapidly aggregate multiple real-time data sources of any format, while allowing business users to quickly identify correlations, and more importantly drive repeatable actions that fix business issues.

Finding out that 20% of a VOD catalogue generates 80% of the consumption for a given user age group, with 30% of the assets that are never watched is helpful insight and can help reduce content acquisition costs. On top of that, making sure that movies that are getting significant attention on social networks are then systematically promoted within the VOD service matters too, contributing to the overall business performance of the VOD service.

“At NAGRA, we have evolved our user experience and content protection TV platform products to be cloud-ready and deliver real-time data streams that, along with other data sources, can feed our NAGRA Insight data analytics platform to empower service providers.

“It’s this kind of link between data insight and day-to-day operations that is key to drive business excellence for cable broadband providers in the long run.”

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