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Big Data in Energy

Aug 09, 2018

Written By

Chris Broadhurst

Director of Business Development

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Big data as a concept has existed since the early 1940s, but the potential applications and benefits have only been unlocked in the past decade as computing power has increased. This week we take a look at how big data is starting to change the energy landscape.

In the 40s, big data was estimating the number of books all the libraries in America would contain by 2040, or working out the data storage capacity of punch cards.

Today, big data is used across businesses worldwide to identify unique insights buried in vastly complex data sets. Bristol Myers Squibb used big data and analytics to reduce their clinical trials by 90%, and Xerox were able to reduce staff attrition by 20% by analysing their own HR data.

The applications of big data and the benefits it can reap are really only limited to the imagination, and it’s use in business continues to increase as the accessibility to the powerful computational power becomes more accessible through scalable, cloud based services like AWS.

When it comes to energy, big data is still in its infancy. Dubbed ‘the last analogue industry’, the U.K. energy market is only just starting to explore the benefits that big data can yield.

Just last month, suppliers started sharing data with each other to help identify energy theft. Energy theft is a cost that is ultimately borne by the customer, so sharing data in this way is a laudable step in the right direction, but is clearly only the tip of the iceberg.

Many commentators see data playing a significant role in renewable energy, enabling a smart grid that actively monitors weather conditions and grid demands to optimise generation and distribution.

At ENSEK, we’re using big data at a much more fundamental level. The industry and all its participants communicate with each other millions of times a day, and this communication will ultimately find its way to suppliers. This vast and often disparate data set is highly complex, and as a result is under utilised. At ENSEK, we’ve created a data reconciliation engine called Libra which is capable of intelligently piecing this information back together to give suppliers a unified data source that can power transformational insight into finance, operations, and ultimately the customer experience.

Interested in finding out how ENSEK could help your energy supply business capitalise on the big data revolution?

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