Making Better Decisions: The Role of Big Data and Analytics

Making Better Decisions: The Role of Big Data and Analytics


The telecommunications services market used to be pretty simple. Under the Bell monopoly, an enterprise or residential consumer took what the phone company offered, at the price that the regulators set. In the case of an enterprise, the notion of optimizing a communications and computing infrastructure to support a particular business strategy was foreign, and, if addressed at all, was under the purview of contract negotiators. Now, of course, things are much more complex. Communication is tightly integrated and highly interdependent with computing. Enterprise networks are multi-purpose and the infrastructure necessary to support the business strategy is not necessarily obvious.

Even the residential consumer market is fraught with complexity. Should a consumer buy the next communication service? Will the next wireless device work with the home network. Should the HD video screen be chucked in favor of a new 4K screen? Does a home theater receiver support multiple Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection types so users can view virtually any device on the HD or 4K screen? The answers are not always easy to find, and are increasingly forming a barrier to consumption: after all, if consumers can’t be sure of their ability to make something work, or keep it working, then the likelihood that they will buy a new service or device is diminished.

In this age of converging technologies, the decision to buy can be very complex, and the tools and approaches to decision-making are not well known or widely practiced. How does one make a hard decision—in the case of a company, where the outcome may affect business viability; or in the case of the consumer, where the decision may influence that share of the consumer’s wallet devoted to communication services?

This SPIE will attempt to point the way towards an approach to making hard decisions. While the context will be one of business decisions, the applicability is general. Although consumers are unlikely to approach decisions in a formal way, communications solution providers can easily build support systems that help guide a consumer to optimized decision-making. Indeed, those companies that do so will likely capture additional business simply because they are enabling simplified but sound decision-making for their potential customers.

Although a short paper such as this is not able to cover all the bases, it provides some of the more important concepts. Interested readers are encouraged to contact Stratecast|Frost & Sullivan for additional details or assistance in formulating complex decision models. This paper will be of interest to any business planner making strategic decisions.

  • Introduction1
  • Analysis Paralysis
  • Decision Modeling
  • Big Data and Rational Decision Making
  • The Role of Survey Data
  • The Last Word

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