Most utilities still using old analytics tools


Doug Scheller,
VP of Business
Analytics, BRIDGE
Energy Group
Marlborough, MA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — September 23, 2013 – Most utilities are still using old analytics tools and are not taking advantage of the newer technologies and trends to solve the newer problems brought on by big data, according to a new study from BRIDGE Energy Group.

More than half are hampered by managing data through basic reporting and dashboards and that they are not able to analyze data beyond description, classification and clustering. Just 10% are leveraging new trends and tools in analytics, including applications that run on sophisticated analytical frameworks such as Hadoop.

Further, most of the utilities have limited experience in determining ROI for the types of analytics that would allow them to engage in predictive asset and reliability based maintenance. While almost two-thirds can demonstrate ROI for basic and dashboard reporting, only 13% have the ability to determine ROI for predictive analytics.

“The big business win for utilities is with predictive analytics, but because utilities don’t have experience in determining ROI for advanced analytics, they haven’t invested in more modern analytics specific tools,” said Doug Scheller, VP of Business Analytics at BRIDGE Energy Group. “The benefits of predictive analytics are far reaching – including reliability based maintenance, load curtailment, better demand curve projections and more.”  

The study on business intelligence and analytics was based on a survey of over 14,000 utility employees across North America.

In the survey respondents also identified key challenges related to investing in new analytics tools. Topping the list was the supply and availability of staff with the right skills (46%) and the integration of related systems and data stores (32%).  

Nevertheless, over 40% of the surveyed utilities plan on a major analytics project within the coming 24 months – up from 29% in 2012. Further, 36% are planning to consolidate the BI/analytics tools they use within the next 2 years.