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Big Data: Are Utilities Getting on the Bus?

As I write this, my colleague Brian Jones (frequent contributor to this site) is in Austin, TX, moderating a panel of energy experts from government, academia and the energy industry at the TechAmerica Foundation Big Data Roadshow.  They are discussing the effect of Big Data on the Energy Industry—from monitoring and responding to consumption patterns to enhancing methods of energy production. 

I’m glad this topic continues to garner the focus it deserves.  However, I often see reports stating that utilities, as a whole, are slow to move beyond their basic reporting tools. 

A major hurdle seems to be that utilities are not sure where to start with new analytical tools, or how to determine potential ROI.

Never fear:  the SAP Big Data Bus is on the way!  (Cool, huh?)
Big Data Bus.JPG

Now traversing the country, the SAP Big Data Bus is loaded with use cases for big data analytics, including fraud detection and preventative maintenance.  One of its very first stops was in Huntington Beach at the SAP for Utilities Conference, where 132 utilities employees from nearly 50 utilities from across the globe were excited by the utilities-specific use cases demonstrated on board. 

The bus is now making stops at individual utilities—on the Eastern Seaboard, and on the West Coast.  If your utility is seriously considering solutions for Big Data, be sure to ask your account rep about scheduling the Big Data Bus.


More good news:  there is a busload of other resources available to help utilities take advantage of new analytics technology.

Here are a few I’d recommend:

  • October 29 Webcast:  How Will Utilities Benefit from SAP HANA?
  • CenterPoint Energy—a Real-Time Analytics Case Study, by Bloomberg Business Week
  • SI World, November 4-6, in Orlando:  Space-Time Insight User Conference.  The focus is on Situational Intelligence, Visual Intelligence, and Big Data
  • DistribuTECH, January 28-30, in San Antonio:  Big Data abounds in Transmission & Distribution. Visit SAP at Booth 3839 to learn how to
    leverage it
  • Utility Analytics Summit, April 9-11, in Raleigh, NC

A number of SAP utility customers (like CenterPoint Energy, per the case study above) are using analytics and SAP HANA to gain business insights that have helped them deliver improvements in safety, efficiency, reliability, customer service, you name it.  The SAP Utilities team is happy to share examples of use cases–or help you build your own–to help you get started.

We see so much potential for our customers in Big Data, and we want to make you successful.  Please let us know how we can help you to get on the bus and get started finding the value in your data.

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