There’s an old myth that says lightning can’t strike the same place twice, but Big Data can control precisely where energy strikes at any given time. Customers in every industry are constantly on the move, and with ever-developing mobile technologies, companies are forced to meet their customers everywhere they go. This is true even in the energy sector, as the demand for mobile applications creates a business challenge utility companies never had before. Not only is such data accuracy at the forefront of the business, but energy companies are constantly looking for ways to optimize customer interactions, improve engineer operations, and reduce costs at the same time.
Big Data Strikes Again
Centrica is a British multinational utility company. Centrica supplies energy and energy-related services to around 28 million customer accounts mainly in the UK, Ireland and North America. Centrica understands that customer satisfaction is what energizes its business. One of the best ways to elevate this was to start with the IT.
Understanding that their technology problems would help solve their business challenges, Centrica wanted to leverage all of their customers’ data which included millions of records ranging from complaints, enquiries, billing, and equipment issues. Not only was it important for Centrica to understand the data from their side, they also needed to provide their customers a channel to access their own individual records as well. As a result, Centrica was able to build an application that would give them the best of both worlds. Millions of households now have knowledge about their home energy needs anywhere they go, and the company can analyze the data from those profiles. Centrica can now offer specials personalized for each person, as well as enable their engineers to provide tailored quality service.
Best Guess Leads to Worse Outcomes
The best guess model of estimating energy usage leads to waste, inefficient operations, and loss of revenue. Overcoming such challenges, Centrica has deployed 2.9 million smart meters allowing household consumption to be monitored in real time. Smart metering based on data analysis has reshaped the way Centrica has been able to monitor energy usage and issue accurate bills, rather than rely on estimates.
Energy companies can no longer afford to over- or underestimate the amount of energy people use. Centrica can now easily collect, sort and analyze their data every 30 minutes for the most reliable and accurate reporting. Nature has already proven time and time again that lightning can strike the same location twice, just by chance. Now we know Big Data can also harness energy and make it strike where you need it, when you need it.
Learn how Centrica leveraged Hortonworks to create true value for its customers and their business by reading the case study.