Back pocket data: What drives behavioral change?

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From food delivery to personalization, there would be no digital transformation without data-enabled decision-making processes. The use of large volumes of information shows to what extent data is key. Now, a new data source is available: data from the mobile network.


The data journey in digital transformation

Even though the number of data sources is exploding – by 2021, there will be more mobile phones than people with access to drinking water and the number of connected devices will outnumber the global population – many of them usually remain unexploited due to proper privacy legal treatments, or due to a lack of specialized resources able to interpret the data and use it wisely.

However, consumers want a personalized experience, so companies and organizations must and are able to get insights on customer behavior and preferences. They have to redefine their value proposition with innovative services and optimize operations with digital tools if they want to stay in the game. This journey, from the collection of data to decision-making, is what telco operator Orange calls the data journey.

Until very recently, data coming from the mobile network, for example, was an unexploited source of information that could not be used. This source represents a huge sample of population behavior in terms of mobility, attendance, profile and origin. Orange caught this opportunity and pioneered on the market with this innovation.


Mobile network data usage 

The solution converts on the fly millions of mobile network data into statistical indicators to analyze how often different geographical areas are visited and how people move around. Companies benefit from exploitable data sources to understand population flows better. Studies are accessible from an interactive BI interface for a better visualization and data handling experience. 

“Statistics are flexible and available in real-time”, explains Alexiane Moor, Business Developer at Orange Belgium. “Concerning data privacy, Orange is also deeply committed to comply with the recommendations of data privacy protection agencies. Anonymization is ensured with unique algorithms, making sure that personal information has been removed irreversibly.”

“In short, this type of solutions paved the way for doing many things that were costly and time consuming before: evaluating the commercial potential of an area, measuring the attendance of an event, gaining insights on visitors profile and behavior… allowing to optimize investments and quickly making the right decision.”


Mapping 3 million Belgians

The data analytics service developed by Orange, called Flux Vision, debuted in France, but the service has been available in Belgium for three years now, and serves more than 200 customers around Europe. With a market share of 30%, the telecom provider has a sample of around 3 million Belgians. 

For example, large distribution chains already called on the service to determine the right location for new stores in the context of their expansion. The indicators Orange is providing for such type of use-cases are global attendance in the area, the flows of visitors throughout the day, their origin, length of stay, or socio-demographic profile.

The telecom provider also helps various banks investigate where to most efficiently close offices due to the online transformation of their industry. A Belgian outlet mall wanted to know where its customers came from to adapt their communication strategy, while Orange mapped out the mobility for a parking company: which parts of the city do people visit? How long do they stay there? Does it correspond to the use of the car park?

"The interesting thing is that companies don't have to invest in infrastructure at all: the data is readily available. Only mobile network providers can offer this, and since Orange is the sole international player on the Belgian market, and we can run studies in different countries for a same retailer", says Alexiane Moor.


Forward or backward in time

“In Belgium, you can work both forward and backward: we can go 18 months back in time or follow areas for a while into the future. For example, you could compare last year's sales with this year's sales period," suggests Alexiane Moor. "Or you might A/B test an advertising campaign."

Whether that leads to sometimes surprising conclusions? Certainly. One merchant thought he had a lot of international customers, especially from Asia, but after an analysis of the origin of the consumers, this turned out to be much less the case. "It also strikes me how heavily a place's frequentation can fluctuate or even suddenly drop", Alexiane Moor notes.


At RetailDetail Day 2019, Orange will introduce how it can accompany retail and FMCG professionals in their digital transformation and more specifically with the Flux Vision solution. Other key-note speakers are Huub Vermeulen (, Ann Claes (JBC), Filip Willems (Q8), Annick van Overstraeten (Lunch Garden) and more. Click here for more information or to register.