In the media and entertainment business, success is engaging viewers and creating \u201cstickiness.\u201d That happens when you understand viewer preferences and understand how audiences interact or consume content. It\u2019s key to make informed decisions from what can be massive amounts of data you manage effectively. \n\nNearly every business in this industry collects massive amounts of digital information: gaming, cable, and streaming companies maintain detailed usage information on millions of subscribers; online advertising brokers make trillions of decisions daily based on customer clicks; and content providers live or die by meeting the entertainment and information needs of their customers.\n\nTraditionally, media and entertainment companies only used data for basic operational reporting. Today, data is defining the industry. Now it\u2019s about combining and analyzing historical and real-time operational data to personalize content, unlock hidden insights for new revenue streams, improve customer engagement, and create interaction and content where customers are almost \u201cimmersed\u201d with the content. \n\nToday\u2019s communications, media & entertainment companies provide multiple services. One service is that of the internet service providers (ISPs), who have the unenviable task of providing in today\u2019s world multiple services that few customers understand well. When customers call, it\u2019s usually because they have a problem, and figuring out the solution may require jumping through several technical hoops.\n\nISPs collect a lot of data about how customers use their services. That information could be used for root cause analysis, said Anthony Behan, Managing Director of Communications, Media & Entertainment at Cloudera.\n\n\u201cBy proactively monitoring the network, ISPs can learn how many devices are connected, how big the downloads are, and how much streaming data is being used,\u201d he said. That can make it easier for them to quickly pinpoint the source of a problem and have a solution ready, he added.\n\nISPs could even use the data they collect to proactively contact each customer with a custom plan or offer based on that person\u2019s Internet usage that saves them money or improves service quality.\n\nWith data breaches, phishing attacks, and ransomware on the rise, ISPs could further enhance customer loyalty by monitoring customer equipment to proactively identify and block threats. Peace of mind then becomes a selling point.\n\nCommunication carriers and internet providers could also use the bounty of information they gather from customer equipment to conduct root cause analysis and identify scenarios in which an outage is likely. They are beginning to proactively troubleshoot problems before the customer notices them or alerting customers to the need for an upgrade or repair, thus avoiding a call to the contact center.\n\nCreative data use also opens up opportunities to improve and personalize customer engagement for subscription TV and video-on-demand services. Combining usage information with anonymized demographics could create customized options for certain customer categories or even individual households.\n\n\u201cIf they know there are children in the home, they can make sure certain types of shows aren\u2019t available unless parents request them,\u201d Behan said. They can also allocate bandwidth to make sure that slowdowns and freezes aren\u2019t a problem during peak viewing hours in a household or for specific events. The need for real-time insights and monitoring is critical to customer satisfaction.\n\nFinally, responsible data governance practices can keep service and content providers compliant with constantly changing rules around customer privacy. Creating and promoting responsible practices for data protection not only keeps media and entertainment firms out of the crosshairs of regulators and the media but reassures customers that they\u2019re a business that deserves their trust.\n\nThink big: How can creative data use change the rules in your business? Visit Cloudera to learn more.