Big Data: Business Insight for Power and Utilities

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1 Big Data: Business Insight for Power and Utilities A Look at Big Data By now, most enterprises have encountered the term Big Data. What they encounter less is an understanding of what Big Data means for their specific value chain or a cohesive solution approach to meeting the challenges and opportunities ahead. Beyond its place as a sometimes vaguely overarching catch-phase, Big Data represents a very real and explosive growth in the access to and storage of structured and unstructured data. A recent IDC forecast shows that the Big Data technology and services market will develop at a 27% compound annual growth rate to $32.4 billion through 2017, and with good reason. Current analysis also projects the rate of data production will be 44 times greater in 2020 than it was in In the power and utilities space, the Big Data challenge is centered on harnessing massive new influxes of information to meet business imperatives such as reliability & efficiency, safety & security, profitability, and an evolving intelligent grid serving an increasingly sophisticated customer base. This list of business essentials can appear overwhelming, especially in the context of effectively integrating Big Data content and solutions. With this paper Microsoft aims to distill the Big Data drivers, challenges, and opportunities for power and utility enterprises toward a truly integrated end-to-end solution approach. The Big Data Value Chain for Power and Utilities Driving power and utility enterprises toward a system of information and engagement are four technology megatrends that are shaping global business strategies Mobility, Social, Cloud, and Big Data. These megatrends are challenging companies to re-evaluate and transform their business approaches by creating a dynamic and functional crossover between information technologies (IT) and line of business processes to support and drive corporate imperatives. 1

2 A primary example of these megatrends at work within the power and utility space is the evolution of the intelligent grid. Intelligent grid development is increasing data volumes by several orders of magnitude. Driving these trends are a host of edge devices, and new IT and OT applications, such as advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), synchrophasors, smart appliances, microgrids, advanced distribution management, remote asset monitoring, event avoidance and self-healing networks. The implementation of smart grid technologies such as advanced metering demonstrate how Mobility, Social, Cloud, and Big Data come together with the potential to dramatically alter existing IT and business structures. Where utilities once absorbed data from manual meter reads approximately once a month, smart meters often transmit and remit data on a scale of minutes throughout the day, every day. This data deluge creates multiple prospects and trials. Smart metering means access to once untapped resources of information regarding customer behavior and communication, efficiency and demand response, and performance monitoring. However, this level of data also positions utilities with the burden of massive information management and new considerations for compliance, security and privacy. Access to customer Smart Meter data can also enable the Utility to align customers with the best rate plan, Time of Use or Peak Shifting or Summer Energy Saver programs, which provide best customer value. Other emerging analytics scenarios include predictive analytics and condition based maintenance, asset operations optimization, Customer Sentiment, realtime decision support, insightful analysis of combined information across what has historically been silos within the Utility. The evolution of the intelligent grid is also pushing the need for power and utility enterprises to weigh and match the advancement of intelligent systems in parallel industries. The emergence of home energy management systems (HEMS), the growing popularity of distributed resources such as rooftop solar, and the market growth of electric vehicles (EVs) all represent opportunities for deeper collaborative analytics and new threats in maintaining and protecting assets. While risks will always exists, power and utility enterprises through these technology megatrends now have access to a potent range of information that could enable them to save money, drive excellence, and grow revenue. These megatrends also present opportunities to leverage this new information wealth to better protect and enhance asset performance. But how? The value of Big Data is found in the ability of an enterprise to capture, manage, analyze, and connect structured and unstructured information. Until a business can access and quantify the information embedded in the data they collect for improved operations there is little opportunity to reap the potentially immense value of Big Data. Knowing what elements comprise an effective Big Data solution is the place for power and utility businesses to start. The Elements of an Effective Big Data Solution The quantity, velocity, variety, and variability of data all contribute to the challenge of how to best leverage information resources. Cross functional and situational business insight for power and utility enterprises begins with understanding the primary elements of an effective Big Data solution. An end-to-end business intelligence architecture brings together data resources, management, analytics, and presentation. This means a truly intelligent Big Data system will unify devices, software, solutions, connectivity, servers, and analytics to produce deep business insight. Imagine a Big Data ecosystem that begins with intelligent devices that capture data securely to enable decision making at the point of impact. These devices would generate data that is not only stored, but connected and shared. Once data is collected, information flows to back-end systems where it is processed and analyzed either in the cloud or on premise. This information is then translated into new insights that can be used to create value and improve customer, employee, and partner interactions. Through this process data is given real purpose. 2

3 Continuing the cycle, these insights can be fed back through enterprise systems to steer new behavior and then finally back to the devices themselves to again drive change at the point of engagement. Once an intelligent Big Data system is functional, companies are able to benefit through access to deep business insights that can be used to and expanded upon over and over again. The reality of this Big Data solution is one that will require a powerful suite of tools that will effortlessly capture, protect, manage, and make accessible information at all levels. A complete solution is one that not only meets these challenges, but does so through an easy to implement system able to adapt to the specific business imperatives of your individual enterprise. Today, power and utility enterprises can tap into these powerful elements to take advantage of an end-to-end Big Data solution that comes together seamlessly through a single provider. The Microsoft Big Data Solution The Microsoft Big Data solution addresses the key challenges of information management applied to line of business initiatives for power and utility companies and their parallel industry partners. Operations in the energy sectors are asset intensive and complexly sensitive, requiring a means to quickly and securely assimilate the vast amounts of data generated by a growing set of sources such as smart grid systems and customer interface points such as websites and social media. Microsoft is driving deep business insights with a clear vision for how your enterprise can take advantage of its access to massive levels of data to evolve your business. Through a truly comprehensive insight solution comprised of a powerful suite of tools, Microsoft sets the stage for any business to gain actionable understanding from virtually any data. 3

4 Idaho Power - Reimagining Utility Data Analysis Idaho Power is a fully integrated power utility, located in Southern Idaho and Eastern Oregon. Serving just over 500,000, Idaho Power embraced their big data journey with Microsoft and ADRM. Goal: Idaho Power wanted a data warehouse solution to help enhance customer service, improve power reliability, promote energy efficiency, and integrate renewable resources. It needed to be more than just simply CIM, and could integrate CIS & Financial Services data for reporting and analytics. Strategy: Idaho Power found their answer through an ADRM solution in a two phased smart grid solution with the help of Microsoft SQL Server and a compellation of Business Intelligence (BI) tools including Microsoft ProClarity SQL Server Analysis. Results: Through their new ADRM solution Idaho Power is now able to get immediate value from their data and has the ability to expand and grow to incorporate the system to other aspects of the company. Value: Idaho Power unlocked the value of smart grid data for business insight & accelerated decision making. Utilizing Microsoft solutions and ADRM a well-defined strategy was established for aggregating reliability, CIS, outage, costing & financial data. EDW (Enterprise Data Warehouse) is critical to utilities going forward and integrating AMI, financial, and CIS data is fundamental to Idaho Power strategy moving forward. Dennis Gribble, CIO Idaho Power Microsoft s comprehensive suite of tools and robust partnerships take Big Data to the next level. Our solution approach layers together contemporary data management, enrichment, and insights to create an intelligent system that enables your entire enterprise to make smarter decisions with data. Microsoft s Big Data solution offers familiar, accessible tools with powerful BI platforms such as Power Query, Power Map, PowerPivot and Power View in Excel your employees can easily analyze all data types, including unstructured data from Hadoop clusters. HDInsight is Microsoft s new Hadoop-based service, built on the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) that offers 100% compatibility with Apache Hadoop. HDInsight enables users to gain business insights from structured and unstructured data of virtually any size and activate new types of data regardless of its location. China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Corporation - BI Solution to Improve Information Sharing China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Corporation (CGN Group) is responsible for building 60 percent of the nuclear power projects underway in China and operating 46 percent of existing nuclear power plants. Goal: CGN Group needed a better way to organize, locate, and share its growing data volumes among all employees to improve efficiency and competitiveness. As the utility grew, its data stores multiplied into the multiterabytes. Strategy: CGN Group upgraded to Microsoft SQL Server 2012 and created a single massive data warehouse that employees across the enterprise can mine using Microsoft SQL Server 2012 PowerPivot for Microsoft Excel 2010 and other BI tools built into the software. Results: With all company data stored in a single data warehouse, CGN Group employees are able to quickly locate data and make sounder business decisions knowing that the data is up-to-date and consistent. Value: By unlocking the value of rapid data discovery through a consolidated data warehouse employees are more productive and efficient, and CGN Group is able to use its data to gain competitive advantage. By using SQL Server 2012, CGN Group can better share information with subsidiaries, which enhances employee efficiency and competitiveness, ChengLian Li, Deputy of ITC, China Guangdong Nuclear Power 4

5 The Only Big Data Solution Supplier for Your Entire Stack Microsoft brings to the table a fully integrated holistic solution offering the most comprehensive portfolio of Big Data tools and support to help your business harness the real value of information. While there is certainly no shortage of powerful Big Data solution components available to power and utility enterprises, there is only one solution provider able to service the needs of your entire technology stack Microsoft. We offer a pre-built solution that is 80-90% complete off the shelf and does not requires a lengthy or risky consulting engagement before realizing a return. The Microsoft Big Data solution offers Enterprise-class security and governance along with support for all types of analytics corporate and robust self-service BI, real-time, predictive and prescriptive combined. This translates as repeatable business processes that deliver insights automatically to find the ROI in your data. Microsoft s Big Data solution also offers the ease of integration with existing platforms at a highly completive cost for implementation, maintenance, and simplified upgrades as technologies evolve. Cost values are also found through an existing knowledge base that can be tapped via our comprehensive offering of known products, such as Office, SQL Server, and of course Excel, one the most utilized business analytics tools in the world. Microsoft solutions position us to be the technology and thought leaders for Big Data solutions for power and utility enterprises today and tomorrow let us show you how. About Microsoft WW Power & Utilities Group The Microsoft Worldwide Power and Utilities Group offers devices, services, platform and partner solutions that empower utilities to thrive in today s market-driven environment by optimizing their business operations in customer care, generation, trading and risk management, transmission and distribution, regulatory compliance and enterprise services. For more information, contact your local Microsoft sales representative or visit us on the internet at: and our blog at: ABOUT PENNENERGY PennEnergy serves global energy professionals with the broadest, most complete coverage of industry-related information, with resources to help effectively perform critical job functions. Including content from all PennWell Petroleum brands and other industry sources, PennEnergy.com delivers original industry news, financial market data, in-depth research, maps, surveys, statistical data, and equipment/service information. We have also invested in Google search technology to make it easy for customers to search and find needed data. 5

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