Cookie Preference Centre

Your Privacy
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Performance Cookies
Functional Cookies
Targeting Cookies

Your Privacy

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences, your device or used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually identify you directly, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. You can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, you should know that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site may not work then.

Cookies used

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources, so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies, we will not know when you have visited our site.

Cookies used

Google Analytics

Functional Cookies

These cookies allow the provision of enhance functionality and personalization, such as videos and live chats. They may be set by us or by third party providers whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies, then some or all of these functionalities may not function properly.

Cookies used




Targeting Cookies

These cookies are set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant ads on other sites. They work by uniquely identifying your browser and device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will not experience our targeted advertising across different websites.

Cookies used


This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of our products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide content from third parties


Here are some suggested Connections for you! - Log in to start networking.

Big Data Management and Storage for Utility Companies - Licia Wolf - Blog

Big Data Management and Storage for Utility Companies

Many U.S. utility companies are experiencing aging infrastructure and outdated technologies, and are operating on a system from the mid-1900s. Electrical grids, urban water systems, and natural gas pipelines were built when populations were smaller and resource limitation was not a consideration. Today, this presents several problems that affect cost, service, efficiency, resource use, and the environment:

  1. Decrepit wiring, pipes, and meters that break down and need replacement.
  2. Manual meter reading is inefficient.
  3. Data collection has traditionally been one-way: measuring the delivery of water, gas, or electricity to the customer.
  4. Very little preventative maintenance.
  5. Huge inefficiencies in resource storage and service – wasted resources, service interruption, environmental impact.

Other factors driving utilities toward reforming their infrastructure are government regulations and changes in public policy requiring integration of renewable energy and reduced pollutants. Utilizing green energy is also in demand from customers, and many power companies are adding solar and wind-powered energy to their sources. Building these systems may be costly but necessary, and it requires extensive strategic planning while maintaining affordability for customers.

Moving Toward a Multi-Way Communications Model

The ability to deliver power to customers using efficient and green technology means development of a smart grid - an electricity supply network that uses digital communications technology to detect and react to local changes in usage. This involves equipment upgrades, and use of sensors/monitors throughout the network that send data about usage, electrical flow, and equipment health. Utilities will not only monitor what goes out to the customer, but can capture data coming in. Networked devices in the grid also communicate with each other to coordinate appropriate responses.

Examples of smart monitors include:

  1. Smart meter, which can automatically be read every hour or more.
  2. Electricity flowing through the line and its phase is monitored by a synchrophasor.
  3. Line fault detector, which monitors if there are any faults in the line.

Water utilities are beginning to implement smart solutions that can manage peak load, analyze leakage, energy efficiency, and, customer segmentation. Using cloud-based services and information storage, tech companies are developing systems that allow utilities to migrate their infrastructure into a smart system. Data is not only captured directly from the equipment, but also engages customers with mobile apps and collects data from the utility’s mobile work force.

How will the Restructuring be Funded?

The Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium and Smart Grid Investment Grant are government programs that are helping fund this new infrastructure. Some utility companies, such as Florida Power & Light, and Georgia’s Tri-State Electric Membership Corporation have already made significant improvements with help from this funding.

Information Storage and Management

Once on a Smart System, utility companies will be amassing a large volume of data, which requires strategic management and storage.

For each data point/event, the associated metadata is needed to tell the story, e.g., location of the monitor device, data intake source (mobile device, direct from a sensor), time of day, temperature, etc.

An important aspect of managing all these data is to understand what information is essential and what can be discarded. Currently utilities retain all their data, but with the accumulation of Big Data, this will become impractical. Storing so much data can be costly and inefficient, even with cloud-based solutions, so a selective storage strategy is necessary. Utilizing robust information capture, storage, and interaction analytics applications, such as Calibre, is paramount for automating this process.

Once data is organized, advanced analytics can be applied to define use cases and implement systems for preventative management, real-time alerts to oversee load management, and long-term planning for maintenance and system upgrades. This will result in greater reliability, improved efficiency, and reduced costs. 

....NOTE - content continues below this message


We invite you and your colleagues to join us online as we take the highest rated industry conference online - join us and the elite in the industry at the NEXT GENERATION Contact Center & Customer Engagement Best Practices Conferences!



About the Author - Licia Wolf, highly-educated with a Ph.D., is the Marketing and Communications Manager at HigherGround, with background in electronics, internet marketing, and print/imaging technology. Click here for more information on the rest of the HigherGround team!
HigherGround, Inc. provides best-in-class, reliable data capture and interaction storage solutions that enable clients to easily retrieve mission critical information and communications. Our interaction recording and incident reconstruction solutions transform data into actionable intelligence, allowing optimization of operations, enhanced performance, and cost reduction.

Publish Date: December 13, 2017 11:08 PM

About us - in 60 seconds!

Submit Event

Upcoming Events

The place where the world's best meet and share their best practices!

A place for professionals to learn the latest and greatest strategies and ideas and to connect with the elite in the industry. 

This is the highest rated industry event with ... Read More...

Latest Americas Newsletter
both ids empty
session userid =
session UserTempID =
session adminlevel =
session blnTempHelpChatShow =
session cookie set = True
session page-view-total =
session page-view-total =
applicaiton blnAwardsClosed =
session blnCompletedAwardInterestPopup =
session blnCheckNewsletterInterestPopup =
session blnCompletedNewsletterInterestPopup =