According to a Bridge Energy Group report, 53% of the 14,000 utility employees the group surveyed are challenged with immature Business Intelligence/Analytics capabilities. In addition, 79% of respondents indicated that the top issues hindering BI/Analytics improvements include the availability of knowledgeable staff and the integration of related systems. In the midst of those issues, 91% of respondents indicated that their organizations were planning BI/Analytics projects within the next year or two.

“Utilities are undergoing a rapid transition from an electromechanical to a digitized smart grid world,” said Bridge Energy Group CEO David Olsson. “Opportunities ranging from outage reductions to delivering consumer-centric services are now possible due to the availability of new data from the utility supply chain.”

Utility managers making strategic business decisions will be significantly challenged by the gap between available resources and planned business intelligence projects. Bridge's survey identified several impediments that must be overcome before analytics can play a key role in improving utility operations and customer service.

Ethan Cohen, practice leader at Bridge, explained that analytics goes beyond business queries. “Robust utility enterprise analytics is also about developing the dashboards, reports, search tools and technical insight to make and support decisions. This includes having the business processes and tools to capture the benefits of analytics.”

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