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New IDC Energy Insights Report Provides Maturity Model Benchmark for Big Data and Analytics in Utilities in North America

IDC Energy Insights today announced a new report, Business Strategy: IDC Maturing Model Benchmark – Big Data and Analytics in Utilities in North America (Doc #EI247404), which presents the results of the first IDC BDA Maturity Model benchmark based on a study of 760 organizations including 59 utility companies at $500+ million in revenue. This new study was designed to help utilities in assessing their BDA maturity against market and industry benchmarks; define short- and long-term goals and plan for improvements; prioritize BDA technology, staffing, and other related investment decisions; and uncover maturity gaps among business units and between business and IT groups — all in the quest to improve or optimize decision making.

ClicktoTweet: IDC Energy Insights Unveils Maturity Model for Big Data and Analytics in Utilities in North America

To date, the utility industry has used big data and analytics (and business intelligence) to understand and manage such things as financial metrics, demand forecasts, energy markets, optimization of generation, outages, operational efficiency, and customer service. However, given the number of other issues competing for the attention of utilities, many utilities are still in the early stages of understanding the full potential for analytics, what an analytics strategy entails, and what big data and analytics can deliver. This study presents benchmark data on the maturity of BDA capabilities of North American utilities, identifies the key capabilities that distinguish utilities whose BDA efforts have met or exceeded their overall expectations from their competitors whose BDA efforts have fallen short, and offers guidance for achieving BDA success.

"The utility industry is still at an early stage of understanding the full potential for analytics, what an analytics strategy entails, and what big data and analytics can deliver. Based on our research, we found many utility companies have more gains to make by leveraging technology, staffing, data, process, and strategic intent to achieve greater results from big data and analytics," said Robert Eastman, Research Manager, IDC Energy Insights, and lead analyst for the Utilities IT Strategies practice.

Key findings of the new report include:

  • Utilities are still in the early stages of deploying big data and analytics, with more than four times as many utilities in the lowest two stages as in the highest two stages of IDC's BDA Maturity Model and nearly two-thirds of utilities in the middle stage of maturity.
  • Achieving BDA maturity is a multi-pronged effort across five core dimensions: intent, data, technology, process, and people. Success depends on maturity in each dimension and on an alignment in maturity across the five dimensions.
  • People are a critical dimension of maturity for utilities from multiple perspectives. Utilities that report better results from BDA initiatives organize their BDA resources differently from utilities with lower-than-expected outcomes. Utilities are reporting continued difficulty in finding and hiring the right mix of talents.

In today's data-driven world, access to information and the ability to analyze and act upon it in real time or near real time, can create a competitive advantage in the marketplace; enable sustainable management of communities and natural resources; and promote more appropriate delivery of social, healthcare, and educational services. In the utility industry, where there are quite a different mix of pressures than in many other industries, BDA shows tremendous promise and will continue to increase its focus for utility companies for the foreseeable future, with an expanding number of use cases.

"We expect to see the number of utilities piloting or experimenting with big data and analytics increase over the next 12–18 months," Eastman added." As such, this is an opportune time for most utilities to assess their maturity with regard to big data and analytics. This new report will help utility companies assess their current capabilities and evaluate gaps in reaching higher levels of BDA maturity."

The new study is a companion to IDC Maturity Model: Big Data and Analytics — A Guide to Unlocking Information Assets (Doc #239771), which describes IDC's BDA Maturity Model framework and identifies the stages, critical measures, outcomes, and actions required for companies to effectively develop BDA competency. In addition, this study should be used as a complement to IDC Maturity Model Benchmark: Big Data and Analytics in North America (Doc #245197), which presents an overall analysis of the survey results for seven industry verticals taken together.

For additional information about this report or to arrange a one-on-one briefing with Robert Eastman, please contact Sarah Murray at 781-378-2674 or [email protected]. Reports are available to qualified members of the media. For information on purchasing reports, contact [email protected]; reporters should email [email protected].

About IDC Energy Insights

IDC Energy Insights assists energy businesses and IT leaders, as well as the suppliers who serve them, in making more effective technology decisions by providing accurate, timely, and insightful fact-based research and consulting services. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of industry experience, our global research analyzes and advises on business and technology issues facing the utility and oil and gas industries. International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology market. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology, media, research, and events company. For more information, please visit, email [email protected], or call 508-935-4400. Visit the IDC Energy Insights Community at

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