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3 Trends Driving Big Data Breakthroughs: A CIO's View

GE Water & Power CIO says data blending, scalable storage and processing, and a maturing Internet of things are shaping big data progress.

GE CIO Jim Fowler (right) shares the big data trends he sees with InformationWeek editor Chris Murphy at last week's InformationWeek Conference in Las Vegas.
GE CIO Jim Fowler (right) shares the big data trends he sees with InformationWeek editor Chris Murphy at last week's InformationWeek Conference in Las Vegas.

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User Rank: Ninja
4/10/2014 | 11:41:57 AM
Re: Supply-side versus demand-side data
It's nice to see efficincies happening at the supplier level, in this case with the wind turbines themselves.  This type of advancement should not just lead to better designed systems that can adapt more fluidly to changes in the environment, but should hopefully translate to reduced costs to end users.
User Rank: Author
4/7/2014 | 9:59:03 PM
GE's insight
One of Jim Fowler's other points that showed a lot of  insight from the beginning, was the notiion that having this data was a way to help customers look at their total cost of operations and avoid potential downtime. In other words, GE wasn't competing on providing better software or data analytics, but against the risk of fees, losss of revenue, etc that can come when an electric system is down.  In the process, GE got pretty good at engineering these devices to communicate how they were peforming.  It's certainlly paying off for them.

User Rank: Ninja
4/7/2014 | 2:47:42 PM
industrial Internet
People have been talking about the smart grid for quite some time now. It's great to see it now beginning to emerge from its cocoon, nurtured by big data progress in one of its key components, power generation. Almost makes me ashamed to say that yes, my electrical use is still being monitored by a mechanical meter.
User Rank: Author
4/7/2014 | 2:25:56 PM
Re: Supply-side versus demand-side data
This is an interesting example of what Bryson Koehler, CIO of The Weather Company, referenced at the conference with regard to weather-related big data affecting so many diverse businesses. 
D. Henschen
D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
4/7/2014 | 2:02:08 PM
Supply-side versus demand-side data
At this point GE is premarily making use of supply-side data such as sensor info from its own turbines. The idea is to use automated software to match the performance of "the best operator on the best day" instead accepting average performance, said Fowler. With data from the demand side -- meaning real-time energy consumption on the grid -- operators will know when to spin up extra capacity and when it can take equipment offline without penalizing efficiency. Smart meters will give utilities and utility customers better insight into the demand patterns, and both sides kind find pricing plans and operational practices aimed at evening out the demand. We're only just beginning to see the benefits at multiple levels.
User Rank: Ninja
4/7/2014 | 12:51:56 PM
I think that this new paradigm of systems, primarily of the industrial sort, adapting to data. This is something that I think we all have expected to arrive, yet it has taken time for processes and infrastructure to be put in place for this. 

A great example of the amount of time it takes to change industrial systems is smart grid technology. The majority of households are still being metered with the use of mechanical devices. The problem has been deployment on a large scale of new devices that have been tested for a mass market. But it would seem that in 2014 we would have already moved beyond mechanical meters! Not so, at least not yet. 
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