Oracle study says utilities are not yet seizing smart grid data potential

Oracle Utilities

Redwood Shores, California, USA. 23 Jul 2013 – A new study, released today by Oracle, reveals that although utilities are increasingly prepared for the smart grid data influx compared to last year, they are still struggling to fully leverage the data collected. 

The study, ‘Utilities and Big Data: Accelerating the Drive to Value’, is the second in the Oracle Utilities Big Data series. Utilities today accumulate enormous amounts of smart grid data, but still need to turn information into business value. Significant potential still exists to use this information to drive customer service and operational improvements for business value.

Oracle’s report surveyed 151 North American senior-level utilities executives with smart meter programmes to gauge:

  • Preparedness to handle the big data influx
  • How data is being used to improve operations and customer service
  • Future short- and long-term plans to use smart grid data
  • The potential of cloud-based solutions for data management and analysis
  • Where utilities will derive the greatest value from predictive analytics.

 

While more utilities say they are completely prepared this year compared to one year ago, less than half of utilities are using smart grid data to improve customer service and operational efficiency today and, although utilities are more prepared to manage the data deluge today than they were a year ago, with 17% responding they are completely prepared, up from 9% in 2012, the majority still say they are underprepared.

 

The report also reveals that:

  • Utilities report slight improvements in information sharing and using information for strategic decision making.
  • Fewer than half of utilities today use smart grid data to provide alerts or make other direct customer service improvements. 62% of survey respondents said they have a Big Data skills gap – including those who say they are prepared for the smart grid data influx.
  • While two out of three utilities are considering cloud-based solutions for smart grid/smart meter data management and analysis, only 26% are actually planning, implementing or maintaining a cloud solution today.
  • 70% of utilities said they expect predictive analytics to improve revenue protection and 61% said they expect it to reduce asset maintenance costs.

Rodger Smith, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Oracle Utilities:

“Our new study shows that while more utilities today are completely prepared to handle the big data influx from smart grid, most still struggle to get business value from the information they collect.  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,” said Rodger Smith, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Oracle Utilities.

Oracle Utilities delivers software applications that help utilities of all types and sizes achieve competitive advantage, business performance excellence and a lower total cost of technology ownership. Oracle Utilities integrates industry-specific customer care and billing, network management, work and asset management, mobile workforce management and meter data management applications with the capabilities of Oracle’s industry-leading enterprise applications, business intelligence tools, middleware, database technologies, as well as servers and storage. The software enables customers to adapt more nimbly to market deregulation, meet ever-evolving customer demands and deliver on environmental conservation commitments.

Additionally, Oracle Utilities helps utilities prepare for smart metering and smart grid initiatives that enhance efficiency and provide critical intelligence metrics that can help drive more-informed energy and water usage decisions for consumers and businesses.

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