In terms of industries that that are rich in data rich and poor in information, Utilities and Power Companies are probably at the top of the list.
That doesn’t need to be the case any longer.
I remember about 4 years ago asking Rick Nicholson of IDC Energy Insights (Meta Group at that time) at an internal Microsoft meeting about his view on the low hanging opportunities for Utilities in terms of improving their operations. His answer: Business Intelligence, converting data to information.
It has taken a while but over the past couple of years we have seen an explosion of BI/EPM in the industry. Take a look at these case studies on the topic for Power Generation and Trading.
Some of the recent work that is very interesting is the work that Enspiria Solutions (http://www.enspiria.com/) is doing around Business Intelligence.
They have what they call a spatially-enabled business intelligence framework. It allows customers to take data from disparate sources and view their assets, vegetation-tree management, track outages, maintenance and integrate all of this under a SOA environment with collaboration and business intelligence. In a nut shell it introduces a spatially enabled business intelligence environment for asset managers, leveraging utility information from systems such as ESRI and OSIsoft.
It’s pretty cool stuff that will help Utilities drive high performance through increased operational efficiencies. Plus it should help with regulatory compliance and increase business transparency issues. – Jon Arnold