Data-driven energy with Big Data. Smart Cities, electric mobility and customer service

Published on Friday, 13 June 2014

“Give me a lever and I will move the Earth” said Archimedes in the Third Century before Christ.  Nowadays, the Sicilian scientist and inventor could say “Give me Big Data and I will change the Earth”. Because in the age of technology applied to an increasing amount of areas of daily life, the growing available information forms a valuable pool of knowledge that, if correctly interpreted and managed, can create new opportunities in terms of innovation, business and development.

For the Enel Group Big Data have been for years central to pilot projects along its entire supply chain, from generation to consumption, to turn the information that comes from plants, networks and customers into a tool to improve the company's daily work. Enel's Global ICT is developing various projects for its different types of activities:

  • In energy generation, in partnership with universities and IT companies, it is developing pilot projects to realise predicting systems through the analysis of the data collected by means of sensors placed at wind farms
  • In distribution it started to regularly analyse the so-called non-technical losses, that is, abnormal behaviours in electricity consumption that often hide fraud attempts.
  • In the relations with consumers, thanks to web analytics and social listening tools, techniques to listen to conversations and semantic analyses, it has launched projects to increase the ability to understand the needs and opinions of customers who contact the company through the Web, social media or call centres.

Smart Cities, sustainable transportation and energy infrastructure are among the fields that are receiving the highest investment in ICT for Big Data applications. According to a recent study by Frost&Sullivan, smart cities are particularly suitable for this new frontier, which is causing energy companies to become data-driven. In fact, the fact that smart cities integrate different fields (for example LED lighting and urban mobility) and the natural relationship between service suppliers and consumers are turning smart cities into incubators of new data sources and types, enabling technologies  - such as  electronic meters and remote management systems- and evolved Big Data applications.