Usage Data Management by DigitalRoute Made Simple

June 17, 2024

This article breaks down the holistic functional capabilities of our usage data management platform in simple terms and without the big talk. 

Edwin Ryan Poquiz
Reading time: 8 minutes

Usage by DigitalRoute™ is a portfolio of usage data management solutions, sharing the same key functions, and differentiated by their deployment and operating model (which depends on an organization’s IT strategy). 

In this article, we will sequentially go through the usage data management process, from data collection to its forwarding to other business systems, plus a short rundown of the basics of our extension offerings – Usage Metering and Usage Intelligence.

1. Data Collection

In usage data management (UDM) for billing, data collection involves gathering information from different sources such as mobile services, IoT devices, applications, servers, and products. 

How it Works

Connect and Collect

  • The DigitalRoute platform connects to data sources to get relevant usage information.
  • The collected data first gets decoded, making it easier to understand.
  • Input data is broken down into transactions and processed individually so everything is accounted for.

 

Normalization

  • Once collected and decoded, usage data is transformed into a standardized format that billing and other systems understand.

Data Sources

  • Usage data is generated based on whenever a service or product is used. 
  • DigitalRoute can collect data from any platform that generates usage records. 

2. Data Validation and Correction

Data validation and correction are essential functions in data processing that makes sure that billing and revenue processes use accurate, complete, consistent, compliant data.

How it Works

  • Data correction takes place after collecting and organizing the data.
  • The data is checked to find inconsistencies and errors.
  • If there are issues, they are fixed, or the data is removed.
  • The corrected data goes through further checks and gets processed.

    3. Data Aggregation

    The Data Aggregator function takes related records from different sources and puts them together into a single record, or what we like to call the “golden revenue record.” The record has then the right grooming for it to be useful for many business processes. 

    How it Works

    • Data aggregation combines information from different sources into one organized dataset. 
    • After collecting and correcting the data, it is grouped together to support analysis and reporting. 

      4. Data Enrichment

      Data enrichment fills gaps and improves data accuracy by adding new information to existing data from external sources. This helps make the data more useful for billing, analysis, and decision-making.

      How it Works

      Business Logic and Entitlement Management

      • Custom rules are applied to prepare data for business processes.
      • This ensures that the data is contextual and is used effectively.

      Usage Binding

      • The usage data is connected to useful external information, such as subscriber info, product definitions, organizational hierarchies, etc.

      5. Data Auditing

      Audits are like checkpoints for data. They have important details that become available after transactions (units of data) are done. The Audit Dashboard in our platform allows users to view patterns in the data so they can make informed decisions and prevent problems.

      How it Works

      Governance

      • DigitalRoute keeps track of all the audit details over time, including where it goes and what has happened to it.
      • The data is monitored from start to finish so it can be managed better.

      Audit Management

      • Audit details are stored for about 180 days or longer if needed.
      • Two types of audit data are stored: one for showing basic information and another for giving deeper insights.

      6. Exactly-Once Data Delivery

      Each operation that affects the data is performed only once to keep the data safe and not get lost or duplicated.

      DigitalRoute defines how transactions are managed and completed without errors.

      How it Works

      • If there’s a problem during the processing of data, the process stops and the data is kept safe. 
      • When the process is started again, it goes back and fixes any incomplete parts. 
      • The process then continues from where it last successfully processed data. 
      • For example, if the process is working on 10 transactions and the first 3 are done correctly but there’s an issue with the 4th transaction, the process stops. 
      • With Transaction Safety in place, when the process resumes, it starts processing from where it left off – in this case, from the 4th transaction. 

      7. Data Forwarding and Sales Process Integration

      Data forwarding in the sales process (aka quote-to-cash or QTC) reduces manual work, speeds up sales and billing cycles, and reduces errors.

      How it Works

      • The data is checked and prepared to make sure it’s correct and ready to use.
      • The DigitalRoute platform sends the necessary data to other systems like a billing or ERP system.

      Data Forwarding Assurance

      • When sending data, the platform checks for any errors or problems.
      • If there’s a problem, it tries again to make sure the data goes through. For example, if one piece of data has an error, it’s corrected while the rest are processed.

      Usage Metering

      Usage metering is the tracking of usage and who gets access to it in a system. It helps make sure costs are assigned accurately and helps use resources wisely so that things run smoothly, and that data is accessed quickly. 

      Usage Metering by DigitalRoute

      • Allows companies to bill based on actual data use without needing a whole new billing system. 
      • Easy to use and can be customized to fit different business needs. 
      • Helps companies accurately charge for data use to different departments or projects. 
      • Helps organizations use resources better based on how data is used, leading to better performance. 

      Usage Intelligence

      Usage Intelligence by DigitalRoute

      • Insights and usage intelligence from usage data management help businesses make smarter decisions, make customers happier, and work better. 
      • Usage data provides businesses useful and descriptive information on customer behavior, preferences, and trends.  

      Archiving

      • The DigitalRoute platform helps businesses save a copy of all records from any point in the process for later use.
      • This stored data can be used for fixing problems, checking audits, solving customer issues, staying compliant, training machine learning models, analyzing with business intelligence tools, creating insights about how data is used, fraud detection, and integration with other platforms.
      • DigitalRoute’s easy-to-use dashboards provide simple insights, and machine learning helps predict future trends.
      Author image

      Edwin Ryan Poquiz

      Content Marketing Manager @ DigitalRoute

      Edwin Ryan is a 360° marketing strategist, content producer, UX designer, and hobbyist. He has produced content for The Wharton School, SFSU, and several startups and non-profit organizations both in the US and in Sweden. 

      When he’s not doing his nine-to-five, he’s usually out enjoying every opportunity to unplug from the urban jungle he calls home to go bouldering, bikepacking, kayaking, skiing, hiking, and ice skating, among others. 

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