Taping in the world of predictive analytics in the energy sector

September 22, 2016

The concept of “big data” is the availability of massive time-based or telemetry data. With the appearance of low cost capture and storage devices, it has now become possible to get very detailed data to be used for further analysis. Industries worldwide are using predictive analytics to produce better outcomes, lower their cost to serve, and achieve higher customer satisfaction.

In sectors such as retail and finance, big data analysis has been revolutionary – changing how businesses approach everything; from product inventory to fleet efficiency to actuarial strategies. In the energy sector, big data is becoming a game changer in an unexpected way by transforming how we forecast the risk of extreme weather events on the horizon. From gas and power futures to grid infrastructure planning, the implications of big data for the energy sector are huge.

Predictive analytics in the energy sector

By utilizing powerful new predictive analytics tools to project the weather risks, energy traders, producers and utilities can not only gain an edge in the market, but also increase efficiency; avoid unplanned downtime caused by unforeseen adverse weather and reduce resource costs.

Whether it is predicting equipment failures and future resource needs, mitigating safety and reliability risks, or improving overall performance, the energy industry has embraced predictive analytics with vigor. Analyses of machine sensor data predicts when power-generating turbines need maintenance.

Taping in the world of predictive analysis in utilities

Like all of those businesses, utilities have access to huge stockpiles of customer data. Collectively, America’s smart meters are generating 1 billion customer data points a day — 3000 times as much information as the old meters they replaced. And on top of that, utilities also have traditional data sources, like call center and customer interaction histories. The opportunity here is huge. With the right technology, utilities can integrate all their data streams to form a complete picture of every home and every business in their service territories.

The Real-Time Advantage: one objective in implementing a smart grid is to drive real-time solutions to ensure the safety of our customers and employees. Dealing with electricity can injure or kill someone. The ability to diagnose issues in real time is critical.  With real time data it can be quickly determine if a power line is down and fix a live wire on the street before someone touches it. Big data uses in-memory computing, which can aggregate and analyze huge volumes of data from many different sources much more quickly than traditional technology. This computing power, together with visualization and business intelligence software, is necessary for analyzing many complex problems, such as addressing the deceptive nature of power outages. If an area loses power, the assumption might be that the issue is a circuit breaker or transformer. However, a faulty transformer could hide a broader problem.

Better Service through analytics: As the use of smart grid technology grows, the industry will need to focus more on how analytics can improve customer service. There has been a lot of hype around big data, so there is a need to identify use cases for your company. In time, big data can leverage the Customer Vision Platform to segment customers and market to them in a more personalized way based on their actual needs by using the data to serve them better.

Stopping high bills and dropping cost to serve: Many utilities send out high energy bills and wait for customers to pick up the phone. But with big data, they can predict high bills weeks before they hit — and help customers get on track for lower ones.

Taking demand response to the next level: By taking dozens of reads a day, smart meters give utilities a crystal clear window into customers’ energy habits. That opens up new segmentation opportunities, like targeting homes whose load curves peak in the late afternoon. Using analytics and automation to deliver personalized, real-time energy savings can advice to more than 1 million customers. Those utilities dramatically cut peak load on the summer’s hottest days, reduced their operational costs, and helped customers save big money on their bills.

Teaming up with new movers: Emerging research suggests that people are more open to new products, services, and programs when they’re moving into a new home. If utilities can engage new movers at that key moment, they can make those households much more valuable and much less likely to churn. A smart customer engagement platform does all that automatically. By sharing personalized, timely reports with new movers, utilities can make a positive introduction, offer personalized help in saving energy, and position themselves as trusted advisors to their customers from day one.

The Anglo African team can assist you in unlocking the full potential of Big Data analytics for the prosper of your enterprise. If you have any queries or if you would like further information, please contact us on 2331636 or by e-mail at contact@angloafrican.com .

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