Utilities haven't harnessed smart grid opportunity: study

Are businesses missing out on improving their profit margins by ignoring the potential of smart grid technology?

A new study says that businesses are missing out on valuable customer data, trends and revenue streams by remaining unprepared to tackle the smart grid and data it generates.

Smart grids are being employed in cities worldwide to better manage energy resources and improve efficiency as population rates soar. As supplies and consumers become better connected, vast amounts of data is collected, which can assist businesses in tailoring their services, improve customer relations and refine operational methods.

According to a new study released by Oracle, "Utilities and Big Data: Accelerating the Drive to Value," while utilities are increasingly prepared for the smart grid data influx compared to last year, businesses are still struggling to fully leverage collected.

After surveying 151 North American senior-level utilities executives with smart meter programs, the report found that less than half of utilities are currently using smart grid data. Out of the companies that are, the types of data collected are below:

Some of the report's highlights include:

  • Utilities are more prepared to manage the data deluge today than they were one year ago, with 17 percent responding they are "completely prepared," which is up from 9 percent in 2012. However, the majority are underprepared, and report only slight improvements in information sharing.
  • Fewer than half of utilities use smart grid data to provide alerts or make customer service improvements.
  • Sixty-two percent of of respondents said they have a big data skills gap, even within companies that say they are prepared to use smart grid-generated big data.
  • Two out of three utilities are considering cloud-based solutions for smart grid and smart meter data management and analysis.
  • Seventy percent of utilities said they expect predictive analytics to improve revenue protection and 61 percent said they expect it to reduce operational costs.

Via: Oracle

Image credit: Oracle

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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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