Data streams and data lakes: Utilities adjust to big data vocabulary

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173791238As utilities expand analytic capabilities into more areas of the business, the reality of the data management challenge becomes very real.

Most have accepted the era of "big data." But what about the quality of that big data? Is it reliable? What about the governance? Have the processes changed since it was first recorded? What about the latency? Is it the most recent?

For Enerjisa, a Turkish energy company, the acquisition of three regional distribution companies suddenly swelled their customer count to 9 million people – nearly 25 percentof the entire market in Turkey. However, their customer data needed rapid attention. For the various business areas at Enerjisa to operate more efficiently, it was necessary to create a single source of customer data that was easy to access for all departments within the company.

With an open, deregulated energy market on the horizon, Enerjisa recognized that building a foundation on reliable and accurate data was a crucial step to reach the company’s customer intelligence and analytics goals.

After implementing SAS Data Management, Enerjisa’s CEO Yetik Mert shared that, "Through these data quality projects, we reduced the number of total customer records in our systems by 25 percent and significantly increased successful contact rates at the same time.”

I had the opportunity to meet Yetik, along with CIO Gül Erol and IT Group Manager Gökalp Öger, when they visited SAS a few weeks ago. It is always inspiring to spend a day with leaders who are looking for innovative solutions to sharpen the point on their business. (More from the Enerjisa visit)

Data challenges are continuing to increase. Hot data, warm data, data lakes, pollution control – these terms emerged over the past 24 months in response to massive uptake in data federation and adoption of technologies like Hadoop.

And analytics is only one of the drivers that push utilities to address complex data challenges. Another is regulatory compliance. For example, one utility’s interpretation of NERC CIP (reliability standards that address cybersecurity of the North American electric grid) has influenced a decision to place a critical system behind a restricted firewall with a delayed data push, impacting synchronized data for operations and situational intelligence. This can have a significant impact on a utility’s ability to react to data in near real time. Data visualization on a 10-minute delay isn’t very useful during a severe storm.

So as utilities continue to experience growing pains – whether it is acquisitions like Enerjisa or changing regulatory requirements – the good news is that SAS Data Management continues to evolve with our customers. In fact, we just announced a 90-day free trial of SAS Data Loader for Hadoop. Try it and see how it can transform your company’s approach to big data.

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About Author

Alyssa Farrell

Product Marketing Manager, Energy and Sustainability

Alyssa Farrell leads global industry marketing for SAS’ business within the energy sector, including Utilities, Oil and Gas. In this role, she focuses on the SAS solutions that help optimize our energy infrastructure by applying predictive analytics to complex data. She currently serves on the Advisory Committee of the Research Triangle Cleantech Council and co-leads the Program and Communications Action Committee, as well as a Working Group of the Utility Analytics Institute. She is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE). Farrell regularly speaks with trade associations, analysts, and the press about the opportunities organizations have to effectively manage a sustainable energy analytics strategy and drive healthy economic growth. Prior to joining SAS, Farrell was a senior consultant in the Deloitte Public Sector practice. In this capacity, she was a project manager for state-wide and county-wide systems implementations and was responsible for user acceptance testing, change management and training, and middleware technology selection. She is a graduate of the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona, where she earned her MBA degree with a concentration in Management Information Systems. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University.

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