As a result of the transformation to smart grid, the amount of data flowing into utilities is enormous and is expected to increase significantly. In order for utilities to receive the maximum benefit on smart grid investment and act on the results, data collection and storage becomes a critical issue. The worldwide market for smart grid data analytics is expected to grow steadily through 2020 with cumulative worldwide spending of US$34 billion from 2012 to 2020, according to a recent report by Pike Research.

Smart grids cannot be considered smart without actionable intelligence to correct deficiencies and introduce efficiencies throughout the power delivery system, from transmission substation and distribution systems, to the customer side of the meter, said research director Carol Stimmel. The demand for market analytics will continue to grow as utilities upgrade their systems and seek to reap the full benefits of smart grid.

Annual investment will surpass US$2.5 billion in Asia-Pacific where the bulk of worldwide spending will occur, according to the report. This investment is driven by China's aggressive deployment of smart meters and related infrastructure. It's unclear which drivers will be most important in China in deploying analytic solutions. As those drivers are understood, opportunities in Asia could increase faster than anticipated.

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