‘Big data’ – utilities not alone in not being prepared


Mark Hurd,
President, Oracle
Redwood Shores, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — July 19, 2012 – Utilities are not the only businesses that are struggling to deal with the data deluge and companies in general are unprepared, according to a new survey from Oracle.

However, utilities do appear to be lagging somewhat with 39% giving their organization a “D” or “F” in their preparedness rating, compared with the 29% average over the 11 industries covered in the survey (besides utilities, these were airlines, communications, consumer goods, financial services, healthcare, life sciences, manufacturing, oil and gas, public sector, and retail).

Only healthcare and the public sector had higher percentages of poor preparedness ratings, whereas the lowest percentages were in financial services, communications, and consumer goods.

Executives in the communications industries were also the most confident in their organizations’ preparedness, with 20% giving their organization an “A” rating, compared with just 7% of the utilities.

This “Overload to Impact” survey was based on interview with 333 C-level executives from U.S. and Canadian enterprises spanning the 11 industries.

According to the survey, 60% of the executives rated their companies as unprepared to leverage the data and 97% said they need to make changes to improve, with 93% believing they were losing revenue at an average rate of 14% annually.

For these companies, the data volume had increased by an average of 86% in the last 2 years, with the biggest increases in customer information, operations and sales and marketing.

In the case of utilities the average lost revenue was estimated at 12%, or $62.1 million, with demand response seen as the main revenue opportunity.

To improve information optimization, the utility organizations said they most need improved training to help make sense of information (43%), direct access for business managers to business critical information (33%), access to business critical information on mobile devices, and improved tools to collect more accurate information (both 30%).

70% are using industry specific applications/software to help leverage information to make strategic decisions. However, they see room for enhancement, particularly in applications for customer relationship management (50%), regulatory compliance (33%) and workforce and asset management (30%).

“This study shows that up to 14% of a company’s revenue is lost because enterprises are challenged to manage and analyze data, which grows exponentially as we speak,” said Oracle president Mark Hurd.  “Through industry-specific applications and technologies, enterprises can transform data into measurable business benefits.”

The survey complements the recent “Big Data, Bigger Opportunities” survey, which found that the majority of utilities are working to enhance their ability to glean intelligence from smart grid data.