Analytics is seeing greater recognition amongst utility executives. Our research showed that 80% of utilities consider big data analytics as a source of new business opportunities and 75% see it as crucial for future success. Big Data indeed offers an exciting opportunity to transform utility operational effectiveness, while at the same time dealing with the historical problem of low customer satisfaction. Take operational efficiency alone. The annual cost of weather-related power outages to the U.S. economy is estimated to be between $18 billion to $33 billion. Organizations can use Big Data analytics to detect operational challenges and prevent outages, substantially reducing costs. Big Data also affords opportunities to utilities for inventing new business models through the data generated by the smart infrastructure.

The analytics opportunity for utilities is clear, but there continues to be a lack of real impetus and value delivery. Only 20% have already implemented big data analytics initiatives. What is putting the brakes on utilities?