Idiro wins major contract with Digicel Group

Digicel group logoDublin, 22nd January 2013

 

Idiro Technologies, a leading provider of advanced data analytics for enterprises, today announced it has signed a deal with Digicel Group to provide data analytics to a number of the company’s operating entities around the globe.

 

As part of its assignment, Idiro will provide comprehensive subscriber analytics and related consulting to Digicel marketing teams, who will use the service to structure customer-facing acquisition and retention programs.

 

A recognized innovator in the development of advanced data analytics technology, Idiro’s solutions help mobile operators combat churn and improve customer acquisition rates by predicting which mobile users are most likely to switch carriers.  Idiro analytics are also used to improve the results of mobile operator marketing campaigns by predicting which customers are most likely to take up offers for new tariffs, smartphones, and other services.   Idiro combines its analytics solutions with consulting services that create a comprehensive, data-driven marketing service.

 

“We are delighted to reach this agreement with Digicel, which is among the most recognised brands across the Caribbean, Central America and the Pacific region,” said Aidan Connolly, chief executive officer for Idiro. “This deal emphasises the strategic significance that Digicel places on properly using subscriber data to achieve positive business outcomes.”

 

Digicel carried out an intensive trial in a select market in 2012, where the churn reduction capability of Idiro’s analytics service was rigorously evaluated in a highly competitive environment.  Following a successful outcome, Idiro Technologies and Digicel Group have agreed to roll out Idiro’s marketing analytics service to operating companies in other Digicel markets.  The rollout is expected to continue through 2012 and 2013.

 

“We are impressed by Idiro’s technology, its responsiveness, and above all, by the proven ROI we witnessed in the trial,” said Stephen O’Leary, Group IT Director for Digicel.  “We look forward to working with Idiro in other markets, and expect similar successful outcomes”.

 

– Ends –

 

ABOUT IDIRO

Based in Dublin, Ireland, Idiro Technologies is an award-winning provider of marketing analytics to service providers and businesses around the world.  Idiro specialises in advanced predictive analytics for telecoms and online gaming companies, and is a recognized leader in ‘big data’ analytics consulting and the commercial deployment of social network analysis technologies.    For an overview of Idiro’s analytics services, watch the short video on our homepage www.idiro.com.

 

ABOUT DIGICEL

After 11 years of operation, Digicel Group Limited has over 13 million customers across its 31 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and the Pacific. The company is renowned for delivering best value, best service and best network.

 

Digicel is the lead sponsor of Caribbean, Central American and Pacific sports teams, including the Special Olympics teams throughout these regions. Digicel sponsors the West Indies cricket team and is also the title sponsor of the Digicel Caribbean Cup. In the Pacific, Digicel is the proud sponsor of several national rugby teams and also sponsors the Vanuatu cricket team.

 

Digicel also runs a host of community-based initiatives across its markets and has set up Digicel Foundations in Jamaica, Haiti and Papua New Guinea which focus on educational, cultural and social development programmes.

 

Digicel is incorporated in Bermuda and its markets comprise: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, El Salvador, Fiji, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Nauru, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, St Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos and Vanuatu. Digicel also has coverage in St. Martin and St. Barts in the Caribbean.

 

Visit www.digicelgroup.com for more information.

 

Media contact information

Simon D Rees, Sales & Marketing Director, Idiro Technologies.

+353 87 240 5999

simon.rees@idiro.com

How Idiro helps mobile operators profit from the introduction of mobile number portability

Mobile number portability (MNP) is being rolled out by telecoms regulators across the world. Simply put, MNP means that a mobile phone user can switch providers and keep her/his number.

And when MNP is implemented in a country, it always results in an increase in churn.  This represents a huge challenge for the mobile operators.

Idiro can help.  Idiro has helped mobile operators in a number of markets to deal with the challenges of MNP.  We help operators to minimise MNP churn and to target the right customers for acquisition, post-MNP.  Using Idiro’s Social Network Analysis (SNA) technology we use mobile operator call records (CDRs) to build a social graph of the mobile phone users in the country.  Using Idiro’s proprietary technology we then identify those at greatest risk of churning and porting their number, and also those customers of other networks who are most likely to join our customer’s network.  We set up an ongoing programme to provide these target lists every week.  Finally, our consultants work with the mobile operator to build the best campaigns to profit from MNP.

Idiro’s long experience of mobile number portability projects and our total dedication to customer satisfaction mean that mobile operators can sleep easy at night.

For a detailed description of how Idiro can help mobile operators capitalise on MNP, or for a discussion with Idiro MNP experts, please contacts us at experts@idiro.com.

We wish our blog readers a happy new year.

Once again, Idiro helps Santa find out who’s been naughty or nice

Idiro is delighted to announce that Santa will once again use Idiro’s Social Network Analysis technology to help identify which child had been naughty and which nice.

Following the success of last year’s joint project between Idiro and Santa, Idiro Technologies can reveal that its powerful SNA Plus technology will once again be used to help Santa with the massive task of sorting well-behaved children from naughty children, prior to the annual distribution of presents to good children at Christmas.  An innovative application of Idiro SNA Plus will be combined with Santa’s traditional datasets in order to increase the accuracy of separating the good children (presents) from the naughty (bag of coal).

For more information, read the original blog post on the project.

Idiro wishes all our stakeholders the compliments of the season and a happy new year.

Interesting word-of-mouth case study at U.S. Cellular

Here’s a refreshingly different take on using influencers to generate word-of-mouth and thereby increase revenue for a cellular telco.

U.S. Cellular: Local Relationships Support National Goals, presented by Sherri Maxson and Jessica Masterson from SocialMedia.org on Vimeo.

Too often we think of social influence in large-scale terms.  Here’s an example of a mobile operator doing influencer marketing – starting small and building a community around influencers at local level.  Now, it strikes me that that this success won’t be easy to copy – it requires a person like Sharif with strong social media and leadership skills to make the project work – and even then, I’d bet that even U.S. Cellular found it difficult to repeat the success in other locations.

However, I particularly like two points: firstly, the mix of social media activity with real-life face-to-face events – and secondly the fact that the program increased revenue markedly (a measure missing from many social media case studies).

A strong, focussed social media approach fits very well with the use of Idiro’s Social Network Analysis technology to identify the key influencers.  This knowledge should be combined with local knowledge by (in this case) the local store manager to identify the high influencers who will ensure the program generates the maximum word-of-mouth.

Big thanks to the folks at wordofmouth.org for their post which alerted me to the story.

Naughty or Nice

Idiro Technologies can reveal that its powerful SNA Plus technology has been used to help Santa with the massive task of sorting well-behaved children from naughty children, prior to the annual distribution of presents to good children at Christmas.
 
For centuries, Santa has faced the daunting task of deciding which children had been nice (and would receive the present of their choice) and which had been naughty (and would receive a bag of coal or nothing at all).  Through the year, Santa’s research elves collect data on good and bad behaviour by children, resulting in a limited good / bad child dataset. This data is supplemented by a large dataset of Santa letters each Christmas.  However, a proportion of these letters have been found to contain significant inaccuracies.
 
This year, Santa has decided to use analytics to improve his accuracy in determining the naughtiness or niceness of his customers.  Under an exclusive agreement, Idiro’s telco customers worldwide have given Santa permission to use their call detail records (CDRs) for a unique project to benefit the world’s good children.  

Using Idiro’s SNA Plus technology, we have built a customised social model of the world’s children, including all their social links.  Santa provided Idiro with access to his partially-complete database of known good and bad children. It is well known that child behaviour is homophilous – i.e. that good children tend to associate together, while bad children usually run with a bad crowd. Idiro uses these principles, along with Santa’s partial good/bad database, to develop a Social Naughtiness/Niceness Score (SNNS) based on the known behaviour of the child’s peers. 
 
In addition, Idiro is working with Santa to improve the text analysis of the millions of Santa letters to identify syntax that shows sincerity or gives rise to suspicion. 
 
Santa and Idiro estimate that the use of this new technology will result in an improvement in Santa’s Good Child Identification Rate (GCIR) from an average 93% to an all-time high of 99%.  This project is funded by Idiro’s corporate social responsibility programme.
 
Idiro wishes all our stakeholders the compliments of the season and a happy new year.
 
 
Note: Idiro Technologies is a world leader in the use of Social Network Analysis in marketing.  Although Idiro is providing this service pro bono, the Idiro team is looking forward to Santa’s visit on Christmas Eve.   

Posted in SNA

Data-mining Facebook

As we all know, one of the largest social networks currently available on the internet is Facebook, with approximately 600 million active users, and upwards of a billion links (as of June 2011). You could do a lot of interesting data mining if you could get your hands on Facebook’s data…and it seems you can. Apparently, almost 75% of Facebook users enable the default privacy that exposes their private data to web-crawlers. These web-crawlers can (and do) hop from link to link in Facebook, making it possible for them to navigate a large proportion of the entire Facebook listing. This is a dataset consisting of 44TB of subscriber and link information.[1]

Once the data has been gathered, it is possible to examine the community structure within the network of connected Facebook users in more detail, and infer behavioural trends between similar users by applying various linear-time and heuristic community-detection algorithms.[2][3]

One of the questions we have to ask here is: cui bono? Who benefits? These outside web-crawlers are not affiliated to Facebook and have not asked Facebook users for their permission to trawl and gather their data. Couple this with face-recognition software which is becoming quite sophisticated and it becomes apparent that our data is quite likely to fall into the wrong hands.

People underestimate the power of data mining and how much can be learnt about a person from the tiniest fragments of data. Careless users of Facebook are ideal targets for identity thieves as they give way too much information away and, once that information is out there, it is very difficult to pull it back.

The bottom line is: don’t ever underestimate the power of data mining. We all want to be better understood as customers, and data mining can really help in that regard, but we should always remember to value our data and to take steps to protect it in this digitally connected world.

[1] – Catanese S., De Meo P., Ferrara E., Fiumara G. and Provetti A., Crawling Facebook for social network analysis purposes, International Conference on Web Intelligence, Mining and Semantics, 2011.
[2] – Leung I., Hui, P., Li, P. and Crowcroft, J., Towards Real-time Community Detection in Large Networks, Physical Review E, 2009.
[3] – Catanese S., De Meo P., Ferrara E., Fiumara G., Provetti A. Extraction and Analysis of Facebook Friendship Relations, Computational Social Networks: Mining and Visualization, 2011.

Posted in SNA

We are all influencers

As the discipline of social network analysis (SNA) develops and experiences wider adoption, it has become clear, at least to us here in Idiro, that there are a number of erroneous ideas circulating which undermine the integrity of SNA as it is applied to telecoms.

One idea that needs to be addressed is that alpha users or key influencers, if some vendors are to be believed, are the be all and end all of SNA. These vendors believe that all you need to do is target these key influencers with your product and you will experience massive product adoption. It’s a nice story and it may sell well but in reality, it’s just a fairytale.

Perhaps it all began with the publication of Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point. In it he identifies certain individuals as being key to the adoption and diffusion of new products/services/ideas. While Gladwell had a point, it has since been hijacked by certain individuals and companies, and sold on to unwitting customers as being the holy grail of marketing.

The idea that there are certain individuals who everybody else follows, regardless of the topic, is very misleading. We are all influencers and we can all be influenced by anyone, depending on the context. Many SNA vendors peddle the notion that the there is a rigid hierarchy of influence amongst individuals that you can discern in your customer data simply by looking at the volume of communications traffic or links between them.

Furthermore they argue that by targeting the individuals at the top of the hierarchy, you will have an exponential lift in your marketing campaigns. Our experience shows that this notion is not grounded in reality. Eight years of research by Idiro has shown that time and again the influencer in a group regarding, for example, a new value-added service is frequently a different person to the influencer for a new phone or a change of mobile phone network.

Our argument is that everything is relative and context-sensitive. Peter may influence John when it comes to picking a restaurant but John may hold sway when it comes to fashion. We all have opinions – some held strongly some not so strongly. We influence those around us but we are also influenced by them.

So if you see a social graph of a community and there is someone at the centre, don’t automatically assume that he/she is the right person to target with your offering. They may be but you need to dive deeper into the data to find out.

For years, Idiro has been helping companies quantify the levels of influence people exert on each other and in turn get significant and measurable ROI from social network analysis. If you have any questions or want to learn more, just email me directly or check out our case studies for more information.

Posted in SNA

Sharing information corrupts wisdom of crowds

Although the actions of individuals are known to be influenced by trends within their social network [1], their opinions and estimation processes may also be affected. In a recent study published by Jan Lorenz and Heiko Rauhut of ETH Zurich, Switzerland, and also described by Wired.com, the ability of crowds to accurately estimate a particular attribute declined as their knowledge of others’ choices increased.

While additional predictive performance may be achieved when crowd-sourcing a certain question, the divergence of opinions narrows within the group as more information is made available to group members, potentially decreasing any accrued crowd wisdom.

Within the area of telecoms, this study may point the way towards greater accuracy in predicting handset diffusion or churn within mobile operators networks, through an analysis of information flow within a social network.

[1] – D. Kempe, J. Kleinberg, and E. Tardos, Maximizing the spread of influence through a social network. In Proceedings of the 9th ACM International Conference on Knowledge discovery and Data Mining, 2003.

Posted in SNA

Idiro selected as ‘One to watch’ in prestigious Stratecast report

Idiro Technologies has been selected as one of ‘Ten to watch’ in Frost & Sullivan’s Stratecast report on its report “Global OSS/BSS Rat Pack  Stratecast’s 10 To Watch in 2010”.

Commenting on Idiro’s inclusion in the report, Idiro CEO Aidan Connolly stated “Idiro is delighted to be recognised as a leader in this report.  It is a measure of Idiro’s influence on the analytics market”

Within its section on Idiro, the report states:

“This small, but innovative company has garnered multiple accolades in its short tenure. Recent accomplishments of note include: a € 3.56 million grant from Science Foundation Ireland to provide research on consumer interaction and the commercial opportunities that result from the interactions; business with O2 UK and Vodafone in several countries; award-winning projects with Telefonica/O2, in which Idiro demonstrated the ability to reduce churn and understand the viral nature of that CSP’s iPhone sales; and the establishment of sales offices in North America and Latin America, from which the company will seek to expand its revenues.”

The full report can currently be viewed online here.

News: Idiro Technologies Wins Research Grant with Science Foundation Ireland

On the 25th of February 2009, Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan T.D. announced the establishment of 5 new Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Strategic Research Clusters (SRCs). This represents a €23.9 million investment in ground-breaking, collaborative research activities involving seven academic institutions and 22 companies.

Idiro Technologies is part of the “Clique” Strategic Research Cluster, along with IBM and Norkom Technologies. SFI awarded Clique a grant of €3.56 million. University College Dublin is the lead academic institution for the Clique SRC.

The research offers new insights into how people interact and opens up commercial opportunities. “If a telecommunications company understands their customers in terms of their social behaviour patterns and key influences, they can use this intelligence to cross-sell other products, prevent churning and even build loyalty,” says Aidan Connolly, CEO of Idiro. “We see real commercial benefits to our partnership with Clique. We are interested in commercialising the output of this research so that Idiro can expand to a global scale.”

This research programme is concerned with networks of data about entities and the relationships between them. The most prominent source of such data is social networking sites such as Bebo, Facebook or Myspace but credit-card transactions, mobile phone calls or email exchanges are also readily described as networks.

The availability of this data in electronic format presents some interesting challenges and opportunities for data analysis. Does credit-card fraud have a characteristic pattern of transactions? Can we identify bad behaviour such as spamming or bullying based on the analysis of communications patterns? Can we gain insights into how information disseminates in networks? We can be cautiously optimistic about the answers to these questions but the research challenges are considerable. The volume of data to be analysed is huge and sometimes the patterns are subtle.

Welcoming the announcement, Director-General of SFI, Prof. Frank Gannon said “SFI believes in supporting only top-level relevant research – subsidising mediocre research activity will not produce the outputs required to enhance Ireland’s scientific and innovation landscape and re-energise Ireland’s economy. These new SRCs, have successfully come through a lengthy and thorough peer review. From 40 proposals, I am confident that SFI is supporting the very best teams of researchers and industry-based experts that will help to provide a range of strategic economic benefits to Ireland”.