With the network monitoring tools that are available today, taking detailed measurements of the way data moves around your environment is something that we’ve come to take for granted. With active monitoring software, it’s possible to make real-time measurements that are detailed down to the port-level and beyond. But before the internet revolutionised communication technology around the world, the primary method of determining quality of service and tracking the details of each call was the Call Detail Record (CDR). In this blog, we’ll look at the role CDR analysis and reporting play in IT strategy, how CDR analysis and reporting have changed in today’s world, and how to ensure your CDR and Network Monitoring Software complement one another.
CDRs can give you more than just basic call information
Traditionally, Call Detail Records are used to calculate call rates and billing information, but they do contain a wealth of other data that can provide more than just billing information. In Volume 3 the 2008 ISACA Journal, Dale Johnstone and Ellis Wong explain that “In spite of the emergence of new telecommunications technologies, i.e., from fixed line to mobile networks, the fundamental concept of and reliance on CDRs for rating and billing purposes remain more or less the same. In today’s mobile network, CDRs may contain information on more than one type of traffic, e.g., voice calls, video calls, Short Message Service (SMS) traffic and other data services.”
The potential for CDR as a component of IT strategy
CDRs are valuable for telecom companies not only because they play an important part in the billing process, but because, as mentioned above, much more information can be drawn from them in the right network manager’s hands. Metrics such as time to answer, typical post-dial delays, average answer delays and Mean Opinion Scores (MOS) can be used as measures of call quality. Keeping in the loop with call quality metrics can alert you to potential problems on particular areas of your network – for example, calls to a particular service provider might feature longer post-dial delays and poorer quality audio than other lines – this could indicate that there may be a fault on the line in question or your routing may not be optimal.
CDR Analysis is a complement to IT strategy, not a replacement
It’s important to be aware of the limitations of CDR analysis and reporting in your IT strategy – while there is a wealth of information to be found in a CDR, information can’t be analysed in real time. Network Monitoring Software usually includes active monitoring capabilities, meaning you can draw real-time data from your network to provide troubleshooting information. CDR analysis and reporting doesn’t give you real time data – typically, call data records are provided weekly or monthly. This means that it is most valuable as a tool for looking at long-term trends and information pertaining to the future of your network.
For more information on the services Iris provides, please download our free guide to Network Capacity Planning and Mangement.