"Data is the source of success and customer value"

VodafoneZiggo is progressing towards a data-driven business model. "Putting data centre stage, is putting the customer centre stage", Aziz Mohammadi, director Advanced Analytics, concludes.

A company can only become successful if it really understands its customers. That is what Aziz, one of the accelerators of data usage at VodafoneZiggo, is convinced of. "Decisions should be based on facts, not assumptions. For too long we have focused on our gut feelings, it’s high time that we cut the knots based on data. The more information we take into consideration in our decision-making, the better we can anticipate customer needs."

Data tells the story behind the customer, Aziz explains. "Every time the customer contacts us, we learn more about his needs. Whether it’s in the shop, on the phone, through email or chat. The customer tells us what he needs, what he expects from us and whether he is satisfied or not. All that information, to the extent we are allowed to record it, by law or by the customer himself, is extremely useful to improve our service provision. The customer is always right, so we love to listen to him."

A smart use of data can solve technical issues faster and in exceptional cases even prevent them. "The way our products function depends on many preconditions. When there is a failure, finding the cause can sometimes take a long time. Deploying data can accelerate that process substantially. We are currently developing an algorithm that picks up deviations in the systems. As a result, in future we will be able to direct our servicemen to cabinet A in district B, in order to replace part C. An efficient approach like that has advantages for everyone involved: we improve our operational processes and service levels, and the customer experiences fewer disruptions. Eventually, we will be able to anticipate a failure so far in advance that we can solve it before it impacts the customer."

The organization has to adjust to this new approach. "It’s a completely different way of working. Data is already an important part of our work, but it’s not yet leading which it should be. And for that a turnaround is needed. Sometimes our campaigns are still developed based on general knowledge or feelings. That will become something of the past. A smart use of specific data sources results in more focus and improved results. More and more employees have started to realize that they can perform so much better in their job if they know what the result will be. At the same time, the world around us is changing: many disciplines change their focus towards data to achieve better results. Marketers, for instance, simply cannot exist without data anymore. Our own people notice that too. We help them with training to acquire the proper skills to work future-oriented and data-driven."

Aziz immediately sets his standards high. "Our goal for 2020 is to be in the top 5 of data-driven organizations in the Netherlands. That is the only way to stay ahead of the competition. The systems we build are becoming better all the time and store data in ingenious ways. At the touch of a few buttons, colleagues can extract useful figures. Facts, data and insights will dictate how we run our company. It will give us a better grasp of the customer. That focus is the roaring engine behind customer value and operational success."