“Data Analytics is burning hot”

“We say we are cutting-edge. And we back it up.” It is one of those recruitments that a large company would carefully plan and work on for quite some time. Because Kristofer Ågren was not only already employed in the telecom industry, he was also sought-after by several companies. In January of 2018, however, he became part of Telia Company as Head of Analytical Services – an area which is well on its way to becoming what tips the scale either towards a company’s success or its failure.

We sat down with Ågren and asked him to tell us what prompted him to choose Telia when working in such a burning-hot area. This is what he said.

“I joined Telia in January 2018, and the decision to do so turned out to be a great one. As Head of Analytical Services I get to work in an agile and cross-functional environment where we tightly link IT, Data Science and Business in order to go from data to insight and action quickly.

“I was already working in a senior position at one of the major telcos and was pretty happy about where I was. I had a leading role in the overall analytics transformation journey of that company. Before that I worked for years with several startups, as well as in different roles at one of the major ICT consultancy firms.

“But when hearing about how Analytics is done at Telia, I realized that Telia had gotten the fundamentals right. That in turn enables innovation as well as incremental improvement of business processes using Analytics. I love being able to use Analytics in new and innovative ways to create business value, and I felt that not only did the environment for that already exist – it is an area that Telia is betting big on. Needless to say, I became interested and decided to take the plunge.”

“At Telia, we are very specific about what we do, and it is all connected to leveraging huge amounts of data and creating value from that. Everyone in telecom is of course working with data – but here, we are at the forefront. I was pretty surprised when I first heard about what Telia was doing. When it comes to data analytics, even though Telia is a big organization, Analytics is fast, agile and cross-functional. We use the latest tools and analytical methods such as Real time analytics, rich Data Science environments with Notebooks, Deep Learning, Hybrid cloud solutions combining on-premise Big Data solutions with the flexibility of the cloud, and so on.

“We make full-on use of our skills and assets, in different projects both internally and externally. It can be anything from predicting glitches in network quality to developing targeted services for our customers. It’s challenging of course, we have a lot of data from a lot of different sources. But we keep working on finding all the different factors in a certain case or situation and putting the puzzle together to come up with something that no one has done before. To do this we have the best people – and we look for the best people.”

Name: Kristofer Ågren

Titel: Head of Analytical Services

At Telia since: January 2018

What do you like about working at Telia: It’s a big company with a lot of different offerings so there are almost endless opportunities where Analytics and AI can be applied to create benefits – and there is a genuine interest across the company to actually do it.