Aging infrastructure, climate change, higher customer expectations and significant growth in demand are what utilities are faced with today. In response to these and other challenges, utilities are finding that the best way to meet them is to increase the use of data analysis as a base for planning, process administration, and strategic decision-making.[Engerati-Oracle Utilities Analytics:Transforming Complex Data into Business Value.]
By putting in place a comprehensive data analytics program, utilities can expect to meet the ever-changing challenges of modern grids that are operationally efficient, while reconciling the demands of greenhouse gas legislation and establishing a meaningful return on investment from smart grid deployments.[Engerati-Big Data Analytics Strategies for the Smart Grid.]
Data analytics spend grows
New market forecasts from ABI Research’s latest report, “Big Data and Analytics in Energy Industry” which is part of the firm’s “Internet of Everything” market research, reveals that spending on big data and analytics in the energy industry will total US$7 billion in 2014. This figure represents over 15% of the overall cross-industry spending. In 2019, the spending on energy analytics will exceed US$21 billion, following a CAGR of 25%.
In the past, the energy sector has been highly conservative when it came to adopting new forms of IT but now, utilities are recognizing the value in data analytics technology. Principal analyst Aapo Markkanen explains, “Greater shareholder pressure is pushing many energy groups to improve their returns after having it easy in the past. In such a highly asset-intensive field, huge cost savings are possible by making the operations more driven by data. Analytics allow the early movers to gain a critical competitive advantage over laggards, in a field where competing by the end product is seldom an option.” [Engerati-The Smart City: The Smart Grid is the Backbone, Data Analytics are the Brain.]