How modern Analytics empowers Utilities for better decision making
Global energy demands are set to surge till 2040 by as much as 37%, according to the International Energy Agency. As Utilities are striving to meet the inflating demands to deliver more affordable, safer, sustainable and reliable services, they will need to optimize their operations & business practices to gain maximum cost benefits.
However, in an existing environment of increased need and pressure towards energy conservation, attaining this mission seems like a mammoth task. In addition to this, the already ageing infrastructure of Utilities is prone to unpredictable failures and inadequate critical maintenance makes one wonder how Utilities will work towards achieving this massive target in the years to come.
Hence, as a boon for these companies, a modern analytics platform can help them achieve this rather unachievable task in a very short span of time. An Analytics solution brings with itself agile capabilities to unleash critical insights, provide greater visibility, improve customer satisfaction, asset reliability and reduce operational costs.
Why Do Utilities Need Analytics?
Utilities deal with numerous assets and huge infrastructure that are diverse, massive and geographically widespread, which generates massive amounts of data on a daily basis. This stored data is currently not being utilized to optimize utility consumption, real-time visibility, control maintenance issues, prevent leakage or wastage of utility and billing management.
Also, if Utilities are equipped with an ability to predict failure of their existing infrastructure, then they can perform any necessary maintenance operations before it is actually required. Furthermore, imagine if planning for maintenance happens at a very early stage, then there would be no need to compromise on service delivery and customer satisfaction.
However, this level of efficiency and prescience is possible only with modern analytics and Utilities have to adopt this rapidly developing technology for the betterment of their operations as well as their customers. Utilities can leverage a real time historical analytics system for mining existing data sets in order to extract meaningful patterns, such as sensor reading that indicate imminent failure of an infrastructure component. This predictive analysis can help them build and tune predictive models for informed decision making.
In addition, real-time streaming analytics is also of immediate interest to utilities as it provides real-time insights on utility consumption for customers as well as the operations team. They can get insights on consumer KPIs from real-time data and help customers understand their consumption pattern. An analytics solution can also run notification engine that alerts and notifies customers on over consumption, detection of leakage, fraud, wastage etc. Thus, optimizing utility usage helping them take better decisions towards energy conservation.
Should You Build Your Own Platform?
Building a proprietary and in-house analytics platform can be a complex process and an extremely costly venture with no guarantee that the results will be significant or better than using a 3rd-party analytics platform. Developing business intelligence around the data generated by IoT assets such as smart meters, home automation systems, sensors or IoT enabled devices is further challenging.
Rather, utilities can take advantage of ready-to-use analytics platform to get started and derive benefits. Utilities can even choose to collaborate with a trusted and proven analytics partner or seek advice from data analytics consultants, to keep aside the hassles of processing and manipulation of the data collected. They can remain focussed with the billing management, customer service and optimizing operational chores.
Calling On Cortana Analytics
The birth of cognitive computing as exemplified by Microsoft Cortana Analytics platform is a revolutionary development for all industry sectors including Utilities. It has the potential to turn highly sophisticated data into simpler, understandable and actionable data. Microsoft’s Cortana Intelligence suite brings together a bundle of data analytics services, which perform specific functions to bring together, sort, segregate and analyse Enterprise data for better and informed decision making. This is turn helps utilities build a dynamic and efficient system and also helps them stay ahead of the competition.
An Advanced Analytics solution, Saviant’s Energy Analytics Platform (SEAP) built using Cortana Intelligence Suite is one such solution that can help utilities unlock critical business insights from their existing data. It has been designed to help utilities conserve energy and promote consumer awareness, by enabling intelligent actions and insights from their existing energy distribution and energy consumption data.