AIS embraces big data to transform the future of telecommunications


Improved productivity by enabling more with open access to key data
Made faster and more informed business decisions
Creating a culture of innovation and encouraging analytics-based thinking across the workforce

With a subscriber base of over 40 million people and annual revenue of US$248 million, Advanced Info Service (AIS) is Thailand’s largest mobile operator.

The telecommunications giant, founded in 1986, also specialises in fixed broadband and digital content like entertainment, gaming and business cloud services.

Its decision to adopt Tableau in 2016 was led by Dr. Gwynponq Chatranon, Head of Data Management and Big Data Analytics – a move that has allowed the company to collect data more efficiently, mine this data better, and foster a culture of innovation to prepare itself for the future.

Opening the doors of productivity with increased data access

Before Tableau, AIS faced a big hurdle in driving digital transformation across the organization: while it had a robust data collection process, not all of its employees were privy to key business and operational insights.

Business intelligence programs, for example, could only be operated by those with deeper technical knowledge, leaving others to rely on tools such as spreadsheet applications. As a result, decisions were often made based on different sources of information, with gaps in productivity among the various employees.

“With just some people capable of using complex software, it was difficult to transform AIS into a data-driven organization,” Dr. Gwynponq recalled.

But embracing Tableau’s user-friendly capabilities have enabled more employees to optimize the use of data and make decisions more efficiently.

When executives have questions on the product or service portfolio, our team is able to explore and analyze performance data using powerful visualizations. This has resulted in faster and more effective decision making.

Making faster, more informed decisions backed by data

In an industry that moves as rapidly as telecommunications, AIS, which accounts for nearly half the market share in Thailand, has stayed ahead of the competition by relying on its ability to forecast trends.

Even then, static data that was used during meetings often hampered the group’s speed when it came to making decisions. For example, its Data Warehouse team used to take days to process the relevant information when top executives asked for business insights – a delay that cost the company to miss a few business opportunities.

And when available, the data was typically presented in a bland format that was tedious to go through. “Imagine the executives who had to read all 40 pages of a report before making a decision,” said Dr. Gwynponq.

The adoption of Tableau enabled the team to create and deliver interactive presentations, with data being visualized on a dashboard in a reader-friendly and digestible manner

“When executives want information, the team is now able to look for insights, and present and compare the performance of the products,” said Dr. Gwynponq. “That has resulted in much faster and effective decision-making.”

Finally, the whole organization is happy with how data is being used to impact business outcomes. The use of data, and Tableau, has become a part of the DNA and culture of AIS.

Creating a culture of innovation and encouraging analytics-based thinking across the workforce

With technology disrupting virtually every industry, including telecommunications, companies have to adopt a forward-looking stance – starting with the employees.

For AIS, incorporating Tableau has not only improved its data visualization process but also inspired employees to adopt an innovative, analytics-based mindset.

To foster a data culture, the company worked closely with Tableau to introduce various data analytics and visualization programs for its employees since 2017. This includes workshop series as well as the annual AIS Analytics Day which brought employees together to share their best ideas birthed out of data insights.