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Report Presents Case Studies on Big Data Analytics Use in the Utility Industry

Report Presents Case Studies on Big Data Analytics Use in the Utility Industry

IDC Energy Insights has announced the availability of a new report, The Maturity of Analytics Strategies in the Utility Industry (Doc #EI249372), that presents short case studies highlighting how different utilities are approaching their big data analytics initiatives. Based on the research findings, this new report provides a cross-sectional view from the industry of why and how these utilities are looking at analytics, what has driven their efforts, how they are structuring their efforts, what aspects of big data they are looking at, and what technologies, if any, they are using. The report also provides a qualitative look at the same BDA (Big Data Analytics) issues that were presented from a quantitative perspective in the recent report, Business Strategy: IDC MaturityScape Benchmark — Big Data and Analytics in Utilities in North America (Doc #EI247404).

Big data and analytics (BDA) initiatives are on the rise in the utility industry. With a multitude of potential use cases and a growing volume of data to drive the point home, utilities have been reporting a growing number of exploratory efforts, initiatives, and pilots. However, conversations with utilities continue to indicate a significant amount of uncertainty about the drivers for big data analytics, key success factors, and how to leverage internal expertise as well as how to direct an initiative. While a rapidly growing volume of incoming data is certainly a strong motivator for some utilities, other utilities are simply reacting to market hype and jumping on what they perceive as a bandwagon.

To support utilities in their BDA initiatives, IDC has provided in prior research an analytics maturity profile of the utility industry, as well as data addressing the correlation between dimensions of big data analytics and the resulting high or low achievement of big data analytics success. This new study expands IDC's research of big data analytics in the utility industry. Key findings from this report include:

Utilities are taking a variety of approaches to using technology for big data analytics; while some utilities are finding it useful to partner early, other utilities are intentionally delaying the technology component pending progress in other dimensions of their analytics maturity.

While most utilities are focusing on a select few use cases, this research shows that this is not a universal practice and that some utilities are bolder than other utilities in this area.

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

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.

"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. This is another in a series of tools and models that IDC has to assist utilities with their big data analytics initiatives,” said Robert Eastman, Research Manager, Utility IT Strategies practice at IDC Energy Insights.

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