Tapping into Mobile Operator Network Data
As a key part of their role, marketing analysts and media buyers need to understand the demographic behaviors and behavioral changes of mobile users. This enables them to predict and understand users’ patterns and preferences so they can target their marketing accordingly. Analysts have traditionally monitored consumer behaviors using static data, such as polls, market research, and surveys. However, to better analyze consumer behaviors, especially considering the move towards a “mobile-centric lifestyle”, analysts needed to tap into mobile operator networks and the wealth of largely unused consumer insight and market intelligence on these networks.
SAP has partnered with these mobile providers to extract the data captured about their subscribers and recover that data in an anonymized way. The additional challenge was to make this data easy to consume for marketing analysts since there were no suitable existing tools for visualizing the data. Analysts could get a snapshot, but not a continuous flow of data to be able to pinpoint the different demographics.
The Design & Co-Innovation Center from SAP together with SAP Mobile Services Development, delivered SAP Consumer Insight 365. This is a cloud-based service powered by SAP HANA that aggregates and analyzes billions of anonymized consumer data points from mobile operator networks and presents the results to analysts through a Web portal. The solution has been a finalist in the Design for Experience Awards.
Using a Modular Widget-Based Design Approach
The challenge for the Design & Co-Innovation Center from SAP was to take the data captured from the mobile providers and present that data in a meaningful way. As part of the design thinking process, we conducted interviews with marketing analysts. These expert users have an in-depth understanding of the media buying space. From these interviews, we were able to identify that analysts had a diverse set of use cases for presenting the data, but similar needs. The analysts need to slice and dice the data carefully to be able to carry out their analysis. They need to capture snapshots of data to establish patterns over a long period of time. Also, based on feedback from interviews with more than 40 customers, we looked for modular ways of presenting the data.
By working with the analysts, we were able to tailor our designs to their needs and adopt their critical feedback as we progressed through the project. The analysts wanted a sustainable tool for analyzing consumer data, which would clean the data so less preparation time is needed before analysis. They also wanted something that they could customize according to their needs. As well as reviewing our designs with the users, we also validated the feasibility of the designs with the development team.
Presenting Data in a Clear and Modularized Layout
By working closely with development, we delivered an intuitive and user-friendly tool. The modular data is divided into insight panels, so analysts can customize their views. Analysts can focus on deriving key customer insights, not spending time aggregating data. Intuitive customer trigger points allow users to enter a point of interest and date and immediately see a range of insights that they never had before, supported by the speed and power of SAP HANA.
Charts used to represent data can be merged with direct manipulation and undone with a single click. The timeline control slider updates all charts on a page for quick, non-permanent snapshot views. A drill-down of data can also be seen by interacting with the charts. The responsive design allows users to access their data at their desk or on their mobile device.
To protect the privacy of individual subscribers, data is anonymized before it reaches the analysts. Data that could identify an individual mobile subscriber never leaves the mobile operator’s systems. The emphasis is not on the individual user, but on trends across different cohorts. While previously, analysts needed to make assumptions based on sample data, for example, 5,000 subscribers out of a few million, they can now make decisions based on real subscriber data.
Intersecting the growth areas of mobile, big data, and computing, SAP Consumer Insight 365 delivers accurate data analysis through the medium of high-quality designs.
SAP UX Design Services has been instrumental in the creation and innovation of the SAP Consumer Insight 365 design and solution. The team demonstrated the true spirit of collaboration, engagement, and professionalism; quickly becoming an essential part of the project. Without question, for any new initiative or new solution improvement, I will leverage SAP UX Design Services.– Steven Garcia (Group Director, SAP Mobile Services)