How Do We Use Our Phones?

Do not-for-profit clients use their phones differently from corporate users?

The Dog and Bone Analyser – the proprietary software program that forms the core of our analysis services – has been up and running for almost as long Dog and Bone itself, although it is a very different program now than it was at the start.

At its heart, Analyser works by breaking down a phone bill to its most granular level, providing us with data than can then be interrogated or combined in a number of ways. I won’t go into these methods here, though I can reveal that Analyser is not above either bullying or seducing data as the need arises, and one occasion did remove the data to a remote location in regional Poland. Analyser can also be instructed – if one asks nicely, in a patient but non-patronising tone – to provide all kinds of summaries. We can find out all kinds of interesting things, assuming that your interests are even tangentially related to telecommunications usage data. For the sake of this article, let’s assume they are.

With the proper prodding, I got Analyser to tell me some of the differences between not-for-profit usage (including charities) and corporate usage. Many of you are probably aware that Dog and Bone is heavily involved in the NFP sector, although we do also have a very broad range of corporate clients of all sizes. I ran about approximately one million anonymous call records for each type of company through the software, and achieved the following results, along with a stern lecture on interrupting Analyser when it was busy. This is what it came out with.

Table 1. looks at fixed lines, and features the average proportional call volume across various call types. This shows us the volume of a certain call type as compared to all calls made. (For example, the figure 41.53% means that of the million or so NFP calls looked at, 41.53% of them were Local Calls.)


It is immediately apparent that not-for-profit companies make a greater volume of Local Calls (41.53% compared to 23.92%), and far more local calls between sites. This largely reflects the local focus of many charities, even those that are multinational in their reach. Corporate users, on the other hand, make a far great proportion of Calls to Mobiles (43.15% to 22.20%). This could be due to several reasons, such as the fact that the corporate sector has been much quicker in adopting new technologies, with the greater emphasis on mobility.

Table 2. shows these proportions again, but instead of call volume, it looks at the length of each call type. 


We can immediately see that although Corporate users make more total calls to mobiles, they actually spend less time on those calls. Basically, they make a lot of short calls. The exception is calls to company mobiles. Despite making only a third as many calls to company mobiles as to other mobiles, they actually spend more time talking to their colleagues. This is suggests that Whole of Business rates are very valuable for Corporate clients.

Table 3. shows the Average Call Length across all outbound call types. This should bear out the above suppositions. The figures measure minutes (as a decimal, thus 1.5 minutes equates to 1 minute 30 seconds.)


This table shows that although Corporate users makes far more calls to mobile than any other type, the average call length of these calls is only 0.46 minutes, which is about 27 seconds. Meanwhile the average length of a call to a company mobile is 1.85 minutes, or 111 seconds. NFP users on the other hand actually make shorter calls to their colleagues on mobile than to non-clients. I confess I'm not entirely sure why that might be.

As well as making far more Local Calls, NFP clients also spend almost half a minute on average longer on each Local Call. Again this probably reflects the local focus of their affairs, and the type of work they’re engaged in. Meanwhile, the corporate clients used in this sample spend more time making calls to their sites in other states (or beyond local call range).

Bear in mind that these results are only for outbound Fixed Lines. I’ll be back soon to look at the differences in Mobile usage.