The center has planned to become the leading agency of Vietnam in big data analytics.

Users do not have to spend much time when searching for something on Netflix or Youtube. It seems that their technology platforms learn quickly what their users want and like and provide the best suggestions. According to Doan Thanh Tam, DAC Director, “About 60 – 70% of the users on Netflix watch films according to suggestions.”

Director of the Data Analysis Center of the Information Technology Division of Viettel Telecom Doan Thanh Tam

Understanding this fact, Viettel is now developing similar platforms to learn more about subscribers and users so that suggestions and products can be offered, suitable to even small groups of users instead of the old “general practices.”

To do that, the DAC of Viettel Telecom employs a specialized machine learning model to “learn” customers. In 2019, income was generated from raw data of Viettel. In detail, in 11 months, Viettel Telecom earned VND 737 billion (VND 70 billion, or around USD 3 million, each month). Thanks to this important achievement, Doan Thanh Tam has been nominated as one of the eight outstanding individuals of the Military Industry-Telecoms Group (Viettel) at Viettel’s Stars 2019.

According to Tam, the machine learning platform of Viettel focuses on four aspects: which products for which customers; what products to sell; when to sell products; and how to sell products.

Thanks to the analysis from the machine learning platform, Viettel has found solutions to two important problems. First, traditional marketing programs can only make 1% of potential customers buy products, while the rate is 2 – 5% when machine learning platform is applied. Second, apart from increasing revenue, the analysis of big data can help Viettel predict which customers are going to leave its network/services and the reasons why. As a result, the customer service division can find measures to fix problems.

The DAC was established in August 2018, responsible for two main areas of big data processing technology and big data analytics.

In fact, this technology was new in the world at that time. Therefore, the permanent question then was How to make money from already available data? Not until two months later, when the center had already started operating smoothly, did the center propose to Viettel Group a plan to become a leading business in Vietnam in big data analytics in the 2018-2020 period.

According to Tam, the important part of the machine learning platform is to “learn continuously.” However, it was not easy to persuade the leadership to refrain from evaluating the platform immediately after the initial results. That is because the platform cannot bring good results in the initial stage of analysis because at that point the platform only has a limited amount of available data (knowledge).

Currently, the DAC is working with leading partners in the field such as BCG and Cloudera. They highly appreciate the DAC’s system and structure. On that basis and looking forwards to the future, Tam emphasized, “It’s time for Vietnam to focus on big data analytics.”

Translated by Huu Duong