Big Data Plays an Important Role in Utilities Today

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Most businesses in most industries today are turning to Big Data to look for ways to boost customer satisfaction, enhance energy production efficiency and reliability, and plan for demands in the future and lead water and energy conservation initiatives. Utilities are at the intersection of the Internet of Things (IoT) as well as customer behavioral analytics. Utilities have a chance to couple strong customer energy and water data use with data spewing off of intelligent devices as well as the smart grid to create value propositions for the clientele.

Big Data will be a huge thing for utilities, that is, only if they have a plan for how and where they’re going to leverage the new customer sources operation and product data with advanced analytics to uncover new product, customer and operational insights. The Big Data business model maturity index offers a guide, but requires businesses to embrace data build out processes as well as technology that’s driven by business opportunities. Moreover, there are numerous analytics-driven application opportunities to advance utilities along the Big Data Business Model (BDBM) Maturity Index.

Suppliers of gas, water and electricity to European homes and businesses are looking for ways to analyze the huge volumes of data that their new smart systems generate to gain insights in customer trends as well as operational efficiencies. They are starting to explore the huge amounts of information that are either already available or will come online shortly from a comprehensive smart-meter roll-outs in process or being planned. Big Data is a critical element to solve major business issues for utility firms. It could turn data from smart grid and meter projects into operational insights that are meaningful.

As smart meters and grid become crucial to the field, they would likely begin to generate hundreds of terabytes of data annually, or unstructured data text that is gathered from maintenance records and Twitter feeds as well. The breadth, accuracy and depth of the new data points which present new chances for utility firms prepared to take advantage of them.  Becoming an information-driven, customer-centric organization is no longer just a choice for most utility firms, it is a business imperative. Regulatory changes, technology shifts and the presence of empowered customers all demanding a new strategy to client engagement. With analytics, energy firms could make the shift to engage with customers in highly personalized ways that could boost customer satisfaction, lower service cost and promote new services and products.

To compete in the new environment successfully and ensure reliable, safe, sustainable and affordable energy, utilities would have to fundamentally transform their present business processes. Utilities should leverage Big Data analytics to help translate data to actionable insights allowing better operational decisions. This includes predictive maintenance, demand response analytics and power quality optimizations among others.

These days, the most common use of analytics apps has extended little beyond traditional business intelligence as well as data warehouse tools which are used for marketing purposes, with dedicated big-data and hardware processing platforms that beef up processing capabilities for filtering, analyzing and condensing a huge range of bigger data sets into meaningful insight much faster than was possible in the past.

About the Author

Ritesh Mehta works as a senior Technical Account Manager in a software development company named TatvaSoft Australia based in Melbourne. He specializes in Agile Scrum methodology, Marketing Ops (MRM) application development, SAAS & SOA application development, Offshore & Vendor team management. Also, he is knowledgeable and well-experienced in conducting business analysis, product development, team management and client relationship management. 


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