E and T

How utilities are profiting from Big Data analytics

The Arad Group, a company specialising in water-measurement technology, recently signed a deal with IBM to incorporate the latter’s analytics algorithms into Arad’s City-Mind master data management (MDM) and Dialog3G software, giving the application the means to process much larger and more diverse information sets pulled from smart meters and sensors with a greater degree of accuracy. Arad supplies MDM software to Southern Water and Welsh Water in the UK, though neither are yet using its IBM-enabled City-Mind platform as yet.

According to IBM, those algorithms are based on machine learning, data mining and statistical analysis techniques, which allow City-Mind to discern crucial differences between unusual water consumption patterns based on historical and seasonal demand, compared with other sites or properties in the same area, which can help identify leaks and fraud (as opposed to excessive usage).

“The meters are usually configured to take readings every 15-30 minutes, and send the information directly to the City-Mind database, which runs the algorithms, then the utility company decides whether it wants to pass on alerts to the users,” says Arad Group vice president of international marketing Rami Ziv. “So we can help the utility company give warnings if that person is consuming more water than similar people in the neighbourhood with the same profile, and we can compare groups of people with the same profile too.

Source: Engineering and Technology Magazine