New research: European Utilities are not ready for big data

Posted: Monday 24th June 2013

Change of mindset required to leverage the power of big data.

Nearly half of utilities do not maximise the value of the data they collect­, reveals a new survey from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the business research arm of The Economist Group, on behalf of ICT provider T-Systems. Over 40 percent are either in the early stages or have yet to begin drafting strategies for big data. The survey, which investigates utilities’ readiness to manage big data and the implications of this across their organisations, was conducted of over 250 executives from utility companies in Western Europe and in-depth interviews with senior executives and industry experts.

In the near future utilities will posses vast quantities of structured and unstructured data. This includes data from applications on mobile devices, internet portals or social media channels. Through using data analytics utilities could optimise business processes and tap into new business models. However, it is not only a question of data analysis. Much more important is intelligent interpretation of the mass data and turning this into a competitive advantage. Here data specialists are called for. Utilities are worried about lack qualified resources and reveal plans to invest in developing adequate skills. but the major investment in the next few years will be data analytics tools and software. According to the study, the winners will be the utilities which are swift in transforming to the new world of big data.

Andreas Knobloch, Vice President Strategy & Communications for the Strategic Market Energy at T-Systems says:

“Big data is already “the next big thing”. But nearly half of utility companies do not maximize the value of the data they collect. The amount of data available will grow exponentially because of such trends as the cloud and smarter meters, and utility businesses in Britain and elsewhere are investing significantly to catch-up. Many of them realise that if they become good at capturing and interpreting this data, it will give them a strong competitive advantage in growing their customer base.”

Improving customer loyalty
Unlocking the power of big data utilities will become better at capturing customer usage patterns and network utilisation. This can help utilities enhance their energy procurement. Analysis of big data can also help forecast new tariff plans as well as different contract models, or even help to identify discontented customers as well as need for new products to improve customer loyalty.

The survey “Power from Big Data – are Europe’s utilities ready for the age of data? “ can be downloaded on:

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