TPG Telecom stands up 'knowledge lake' to get more from its data

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TPG Telecom stands up 'knowledge lake' to get more from its data

Takes AWS data lake to the next level.

TPG Telecom has stood up a ‘knowledge lake’ on Amazon Web Services to make better use of vast amounts of data, both sourced from internal and external sources.

Head of business intelligence, data and analytics Bobby Shaik said the knowledge lake was introduced to "be smarter” following the merger between Vodafone Australia and TPG last year.

The merger brought seven brands, including iinet, Internode, Lebara, AAPT and felix, together under the one roof, resulting in “hundreds of systems... that are dealing with data back and forth”.

“We have designed something smarter called knowledge lake,” he told a AWS re:Invent media event in Sydney on Tuesday.

Shaik, who worked at Vodafone Australia before its merger with TPG, described the knowledge lake as a “layer on top of a data lake ready to use for insights”.

He said it went beyond a ‘feature store’ in data science “where you’re designing the experiments for creating the transformations from the analytics pipelines”

“This is a bit more than that. This can be used for day-to-day analysis... This can be used for data analytics experiments,” he said.

Shaik told iTnews the knowledge lake “came from the frustrations that we had with data lakes spilling out all over the organisation” and the fact that the value of data is unclear most of the time.  

“The knowledge lake came into the picture where we had external data coming in and we needed to merge it with internal data,” Shaik said.

“We had people from different business units doing their own analytics in a siloed manner; how do we on-board the community to this governed dataset?”

“We wanted to get that governance in place. That’s why we’ve created [the] knowledge lake.”

External analytics

Shaik said the platform had been put to work on TPG’s strategic priorities around customer growth, particularly in the enterprise space, and in the rollout of 5G, with around 140 users.

He said the telco needs to understand at a personal and household level across all seven of its retail brands.

“You can have customers from multiple brands in the same household, so how do you create customer journeys to service customers?” he said.

TPG Telecom is also using data to optimise its networks and understand where to invest in 5G, and to bring value-added services to its enterprise customers.

To do this, the telco uses data from a range of sources, including internal analytics on customers and, more recently, external analytics.

“External analytics is an interesting one that we have bumped into about 18 months ago in a search to improve customer experience with open datasets that are available in the market," Shaik said.

He added there are more than 6000 open datasets available to learn about customers behaviour in Australia.

“We mined the most important datasets, gathered those insights and merged them with internal data insights to see how we can optimise the customer journey,” he said.

TPG Telecom also plans to increase its use of data to influence the creation of enterprise-grade products.

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