Utilities not yet realizing smart grid data potential, Oracle finds

Rodger Smith,
Senior VP and
General Manager,
Oracle Utilities
Redwood Shores, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — July 24, 2013 – Utilities are accumulating enormous amounts of smart grid data, but are still struggling to turn it into business value, according to Oracle second annual ‘Big data’ study.

Based on a survey of 151 North American senior level utilities executives, it was found that utilities are more prepared to manage the data deluge today than they were a year ago, with 17 percent responding they are completely prepared, up from 9 percent in 2012.  However, the majority still say they are underprepared.

Further, fewer than half of the utilities use smart grid data to provide alerts or make other direct customer service improvements.

“Our new study shows that while more utilities today, over last year, are completely prepared to handle the big data influx from smart grid, most still struggle to get business value from the information they collect,” commented Rodger Smith, senior vice president and general manager of Oracle Utilities. “The most progressive utilities are transforming themselves now into data-driven businesses to accelerate the opportunities big data and analytics can bring to improving customer service and operational efficiencies.”

Other findings of the survey are:

  • Almost two-thirds said they have a big data skills gap – including those who say they are prepared for the smart grid data influx
  • Two-thirds are considering cloud-based solutions for smart grid/smart meter data management and analysis, but only a quarter are actually planning, implementing or maintaining a cloud solution today
  • 70 percent said they expect predictive analytics to improve revenue protection and 61 percent that they expect it to reduce asset maintenance costs.

A new Oracle study, “Utilities and Big Data: Accelerating the Drive to Value,” the second annual study in the Oracle Utilities Big Data series, shows utilities are increasingly prepared for the smart grid data influx compared to last year, but still struggle to fully leverage the data collected.  Significant potential still exists to use this information to drive customer service and operational improvements for business value.