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The utility and energy services sector is facing an evolving marketplace where the businesses need to integrate alternative energy options, expand awareness across the system and strengthen their relationship with the clients. Companies need to optimize, compete and succeed on all these counts while delivering affordable and reliable energy to everyone. Companies which harness analytics can deliver on all these counts with considerable competitive advantages.
With the advent of smart homes and digitization, there has been an explosion of data which provides energy companies an opportunity to tap into complex big data in compelling ways. Refrigerators, heating devices, smart meters and many such devices are being deployed which are capable of gathering data and studying the consumption patterns of consumers. Through this growing volume of data, energy companies can derive analytical insights to generate new revenues of data, improve business processes and even come up with entirely new set of offerings for their customers.
Utilizing Big Data, energy companies can harness the following key opportunities:
Generating Customer Insight: With so much data at their disposal, companies can enhance their insights by including transactions, online activity, energy use patterns and other external information to their data warehouses. With this they can create behavioral segmentations for improved customer targeting, acquisition and cross-selling. They can also analyze product segments and identify product lines which need to be promoted or made redundant. Also they could use Big Data from smart meters to identify the type of appliances being used by consumers and then cross-sell them accordingly.
Improving business processes: Advanced analytics can also be used for improving business processes like getting rid of bad debt in energy companies. Predictive analytics can be used to identify patterns and behavior which act as a trigger for customers to default. Companies can analyze transaction history, payment patterns, online activity, and energy usage to derive the probability of default and take actions to initiate recovery on time. These techniques are already being used extensively in other industries like banks and finance corporations.
These are just two examples of how Analytics and Big Data can transform the way energy companies operate. There are many more use cases which can be discussed as to how Big Data can affect the utility and energy space. The point is that advanced analytics is not a fad and should not be ignored by companies. It can act as a strong strategy to develop key competitive advantage by crafting data driven strategies based on insights.
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