Iain Stewart, Utilities Consultant, Teradata International

There is a huge range of big data analytics offerings available for the utilities sector and the choice can be confusing. For utilities companies to get the best results from their big data projects, they should choose an experienced provider. Newer big data analytics providers may be very enthusiastic but might not have the right experience to deliver the benefits and results you want.

There are many elements that come into play when choosing a data analytics provider. Here are two key aspects to beware of that will help utilities companies make the right choice:

  1. Beware of ‘slideware analytics’*. Being the first company to invest in a solution without clear evidence of it creating positive financial outcomes means there is no guarantee of a return on investment. When choosing an analytics provider, make sure there are real world business cases that prove the analytics solution is likely to be effective. When evaluating a solution, companies should ask for examples of how the technology has been used by others in the utilities industry and how it produced quantifiable results. Providers with well-developed solutions will have scenarios and customer anecdotes that demonstrate experience in achieving business objectives.

* ‘slideware’ – a presentation about hardware or software that is only on the drawing board and nowhere near completion.

  1. Beware of out-of-the-box analytics solutions.  The utilities sector is highly regulated and highly diversified. Each utilities company operates in a certain way, produces unique data and stores that data in different ways. This means it is difficult to create a single solution that will benefit any utilities company.

In a competitive market, it is important to seek out tailored big data solutions that give the company an advantage over competitors. A functional and practical long-term solution for utilities should focus on flexible analytics platforms that meet the company’s current requirements and can adapt to its changing needs over time. A flexible platform will let data be used repeatedly and on a range of analytics, reducing resources and management costs.

While it can be difficult to see past the hype to choose the right big data analytics provider, utility companies that manage to do this will begin gaining insights and reaping the benefits sooner than their competitors. By considering these two key factors when making their decision, utility companies will end up with the right solution for their needs.

Download the White Paper How to Make Data Pay Dividends for Utilities today to get a better understanding of how you can gain insights from your analytics.



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