US utilities can learn about big data from telecoms industry, says report


US utilities are uncertain about the drivers for big data analytics, key success factors, and how to leverage internal expertise, and direct an initiative, according to a new research by US market intelligence company IDC Energy Insights.

In a report titled The Maturity of Analytics Strategies in the Utility Industry, IDC has studied how typical utilities are approaching big data analytics.

Energy companies are taking a variety of approaches to using technology for big data analytics (BDA), the study finds, and while some utilities are finding it useful to partner early, others are intentionally delaying the technology component pending progress in other dimensions of their analytics maturity.

Another finding is strong leadership of BDA initiatives is almost always beneficial, although this research shows that this often requires patience and perseverance.

Learnings from telecoms sector

Utility industry executives who would like to find relevant analytics case studies in another vertical context should look at the telecommunications industry, which in addition to presenting structural and business similarities to the utility industry has some worthy examples of analytics leadership, the report suggests.

Robert Eastman, research manager, IDC Energy Insights, and lead analyst for the Utility IT Strategies practice, commented: “After establishing and presenting the first IDC BDA Maturity Benchmark of BDA in utilities, these mini case studies show in more depth the range of approaches that utilities are taking, and how these align to IDC’s maturity benchmarks.”

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