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Big Data

The buzzword of the day is ‘analytics.’ But what does it mean?

Fortnightly Magazine - March 2012

you can have quite cheap hardware within your home, and we then do the data processing somewhere else. [So] we have to give utilities the comfort to know that they can be confident to work with us.

Puckett, KEMA: The release of individual customer data on how they use energy on a time-differentiated basis may be something that takes a while to get up to that cloud. It may require a release from the consumer.

A company called CEIVA at DistribuTECH was promoting the ‘Internet cloud picture frame,’ which I thought was pretty clever. Not only did you get your energy information stream, but it also gave you pictures of the grandkids and all that other fun stuff. It was trying to engage the consumer and say, look, we’re not going to bore you with energy information but it will be periodically delivered.


Fortnightly: How do analytics techniques translate into differences at the operational level? Do analytics lead to more dashboards, or can existing processes integrate analytics?

Bhambhri, IBM: Dashboards are there and they’re going to continue to be there, but the analytic output in these dashboards is changing from a rearview-mirror focus to an actionable analytic focus.

Valocchi, IBM: Static dashboards are a thing of the past. The things we call dashboards don’t feel like dashboards anymore. They’re portals into different parts of processes.

Jackman, Oracle: Dashboards are a way of presenting data to the end user. But what it’s about is embedding the information that the data is giving you and making operational improvements.

Lewis, Infosys: Essentially the dashboards are the top-level view of what’s underneath within the enterprise. Once you define what you want to see in a dashboard, then you can start defining which systems underneath have to provide data, and which analytics are required in order to massage that data and present it in a form that’s easy to digest by the executives.

Meyers, Telvent: The genius will be if we can get it simple enough and get the important things available and in the front of the queue so that the people who are actually operating the network in real-time or near real-time can understand them.


Fortnightly: Frequently people talk about how utilities are fragmented into different ‘silos’ that don’t work well together. How does that factor into the potential for analytics to improve operations across the enterprise?

Lewis, Infosys: In order to get maximum benefit from analytics, you’ve got to bridge the silos.

Vishwakarma, Infosys: Traditionally when you go to utilities, they are afraid of sharing data with other departments, other organizations, because they know the data best.

Meyers, Telvent: Command and control networks have essentially stood alone. Whenever anyone wanted to interconnect with the SCADA network, the answer was no. But today we’re trying to put that network into contact with enterprise networks and communications infrastructure and make it smarter, get more information in.

Wambaugh, UISOL: AMI and MDM have been one of the first technologies to break across that silo. You’re starting to see it’s become a real-time world, and everybody