“Big Data” is receiving a lot of attention. And for good reason. Nearly every process, transaction or interaction can now be digitalized. Computing power and sophisticated algorithms are detecting patterns in those aggregated data that were not possible even a few years ago.
Billions of data points from millions of people have high value. Companies like Facebook and Google have converted social media likes, internet searches, and cell phone tracking into marketing gold. The Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, and robotics are transforming the way services are provided and how products are manufactured and used.
The energy and water industry has been taking note. Along with commodity suppliers and government, utilities have focused on interval meter and sub-metering as a way of getting on the big data bandwagon. Interval data is being promoted to energy consumers as the big data tool that will deliver the success experienced in other sectors. Interval data can play a tactical role for a business that wants to optimize production and energy efficiency in their operations. However, a pre-occupation with the big data success story can actually hamper effective action on energy when it distracts or prevents a business from grasping the strategic importance of small data.
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