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Small Data, Big Results


Analyzing your monthly utility bill can reveal opportunities to reduce energy consumption and save money.

Big data is receiving a lot of attention, and for good reason. Powerful computing software can now digitalize nearly every process, transaction, or interaction to uncover trends and patterns hidden in raw data. Companies such as Facebook and Google are harnessing this information and turning it into marketing gold.

Companies looking to operate more efficiently and effectively can employ similar strategies. The energy and water sectors in particular are taking note. Utilities are promoting interval metering (i.e., recording energy use each hour) and submetering (i.e., recording data that identifies how, when, and where energy is used) to provide their customers with much-needed data.

For a company with high energy input costs and no comprehensive energy management program, data analytics is a good place to start. Preoccupation with big data, however, can actually hamper effective action on energy. It is essential that a business first understands the strategic importance of small data found in monthly utility bills...

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