Is Big Data the Next Next Thing?

Of the several areas we suggested, Big Data attracted the most attention. As one of our series respondents observed, the smart grid industry has done a great job of creating the technology to gather massive amounts of data, but managing it well and wringing the most out of it remain challenging. In the first article of our Next Next Thing series, you will get a broad range of perspectives on what industry professionals believe are the rough spots, the best ways for utilities to take advantage of Big Data and where it will provide the most value.
smart grid, smart grid technology, analytics, Big Data, Next Next Thing, smart grid trends, electric utilities
Tom Osterhus, Integral Analytics CEO, laid out the current Big Data dilemma clearly. “One of the reasons utilities are so slow to adopt innovations in this space is that they continue to think in terms of the overall system. IT staff feel that any innovation needs to conform to the overall corporate IT infrastructure, and so small, quick proof of concept innovations about how using this data to yield significant operational results is lost in the bureaucracy.” The problem, he says, is that utilities tend to concentrate on IT/OT security, data integrity and integration far too soon – and that makes it harder to test winning applications , and harder to decide what to integrate after that. “As such, we see many Big Data discussions merely discussions of IT infrastructure, and no discussion of business value or need.”

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