Improving analytics to increase efficiency

Syed Mansoor AhmadThe world we live in has become increasingly digital and connected, and we now have the ability to collect data from many new sources

Sophisticated sensor technology has given rise to the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, embedding intelligence, integrating more data sources than ever and providing the potential for informed decision making based on comprehensive insight.

However, as a greater proportion of our world is driven by electricity, and populations continue to increase, we are seeing a year-on year increase in the demand for energy. In some countries, including South Africa, the result has been a gap between supply and demand. The only way to reduce demand and bridge this gap is to improve energy efficiency.

Harnessing the power of big data analytics, organisations can become empowered not only to reduce energy consumption, but to leverage wider supply-side optimisation, including demand management, energy procurement, and tariff-based savings. This not only helps to improve energy efficiency, it also reduces energy costs, and helps organisations to meet carbon emission reduction targets.

The structure of control

Energy may be one of the largest operational expenses of many organisations, but it is also highly controllable. However, organisations without a structured means of managing energy consumption frequently end up compromising on operational policies. The impact of this is that it can negatively affect the organisation’s sales and brand image. Compromising on policies results in lower productivity of staff, a decrease in the equipment performance and lifespan and a reduction in the quality of the goods sold.

Aside from the pressing need to optimise energy consumption in order to reduce electricity cost and demand, one of the biggest challenges organisations around the world currently face is to achieve sustainability targets, as well as profitability and customer acquisition targets. Often, enterprises are also tasked with achieving this in a massively distributed infrastructure environment, which may include large office buildings, warehouses, and even water treatment plants.

The rest of this article can be read in the latest issue of African Review:

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