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Technology focus > Data analytics Digital TV Europe April/May 2016 Data is King Data is the currency on which TV Everywhere players depend but service providers are facing organisational hurdles in managing the wealth of information at their disposal. Adrian Pennington reports. Data is everywhere but it’s how you use it that counts. Many service providers are only scratching the surface of what is possible. Even where there’s a will to interrogate data and effect rapid response to consumer needs or business models, many multichannel networks face an uphill task to overcome legacy organisational barriers. That’s in stark contrast to pure-play streamers like Netflix or Amazon, which have built a business on integrated customer service and technical operations. The OTT providers cross- correlate data sources that provide insight into quality of service (QoS), marketing, advertising and content recommendation. These draw on remote control commands to the set-top box 18 sent back over the return-path and server logs that record media player interactions. With traditional broadcast networks there wasn’t a huge need for data. The equation could be reduced to quality of content and how many people watched. With pay TV the model barely shifted. If shows were packaged at a decent price the subscription rate went up. The need for data wasn’t great since the variables didn’t waver. When TiVO introduced the concept of time-shifted consumption the cracks began to appear. OTT has taken this to another level. “The internet opened a floodgate of consumer choice,” says Keith Zubchevich, chief strategy officer at OTT video specialist Conviva. “It handed control of the TV from networks to viewers. The data that is needed now is of a fundamentally massive order of difference compared to what has gone before.” Data types There are broadly three types of data: consumer viewing behaviour, programme metadata and network performance statistics. The latter has been a factor in network capacity planning for some time but is also starting to be used in other areas, such as content acquisition. “For a long time QoS monitored bit-rates, how many sessions failed. Increasingly the data is about what devices are being used and Visit us at