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Big data has been a big topic for quite some time now, but what effects does it have on the utilities industry? Many.

According to Gartner, big data is defined as “high-volume, high-velocity and/or high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing that enable enhanced insight, decision making, and process automation.”

Utilities companies of all kinds reap big data’s benefits when it comes to deploying sensors and carting in the abundance of data related to energies consumed in a day. However, while a huge focus keeps hold on energy data, data is changing multiple parts of the value chain. GTM Research, an analyst firm, stated that global utility company expenditure on data analytics will grow from $700 million in 2012 to $3billion in 2020, with utilities companies increasing their investment.

A significant way that big data plays a role in utilities companies is how it acts as a key problem solver within the businesses problems. The data that is collected from smart meters and grids are turned into insights about business processes and customer behavior. With such valuable insights, big data offers the opportunity to progress efficiencies, thus maximizing profit. Furthermore, because data is in constant motion, these goals are achieved faster than they ever have been.

Becoming more customer-centric is top of mind for many companies, but for utilities companies it is crucial. With emerging technologies, customers demand a new way for engagement. Big data makes it possible for companies to engage more thoughtfully and personally with the analytics that are available.

Lastly, the revolving door of data that floods through the utility companies lets them prepare for the demands that present themselves both now and in the future. From costs to customer satisfaction to delivering reliable energy sources, big data will continue to play a critical role utilities now and in the foreseeable future.

The Future of Big Data

MarketsandMarkets recent report predicts that big data will be worth $46.34 billion by 2018. Yowza! The top predictions for big data include: a rise in cognitive technologies, prescriptive analytics, faster machine learning, improved cybersecurity and an impact from IoT. It appears as though businesses of all shapes and sizes will continue to reap the benefits of big data and in more ways than one!


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