A new quarterly report from McKinsey called Are You Ready for the Era of Big data highlights the important role that big data increasingly plays across a variety of industries, including utilities. The report ranked utilities highly as an industry that can easily capture the data needed to make dramatic improvements in customer engagement, quality of service, and other areas of business.
“Over time, we believe big data may well become a new type of corporate asset that will cut across business units and function much as a powerful brand does, representing a key basis for competition,” explains the report. “If that’s right, companies need to start thinking in earnest about whether they are organized to exploit big data’s potential and to manage the threats it can pose.”
“Success will demand not only new skills but also new perspectives on how the era of big data could evolve—the widening circle of management practices it may affect and the foundation it represents for new, potentially disruptive business models.”
The report then goes on to address five questions that executives should consider when evaluating the role that big data could play in their industry, including how the business would change if big data were used for wide-spread, real time customization. Referencing utilities specifically in this section, the authors point out that “utilities that harvest and analyze data on customer segments can markedly change patterns of power usage.”
With the eruption of big data that is flooding the utility industry as a result of smart grid rollout, utilities will certainly need to prepare to meet the challenge of leveraging this information to turn big data into big results.
Standardized data formats such as those set by the Green Button initiative are already being adopted by many utilities. In addition, third party service providers such as Simple Energy are available to translate this data into a meaningful experience for customers, driving results in programs such as energy efficiency and demand response. With a recent demonstration in San Diego showing an average of 20% savings and up to 50% for top performers, programs that successfully leverage energy use data can be highly effective.
Learn more here about the potential for leveraging big data to create effective customer engagement and drive energy efficiency results.