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Why data is the secret weapon against energy market volatility

How does your organisation perform on everything from artificial intelligence (AI) to cost control?

When market conditions are volatile a rigorous approach to data is more important than ever. Long-term uncertainty is difficult to plan for, which makes sustainability strategies even harder to sell into the wider business. But with a data-driven approach, businesses have something tangible to build on.

For those looking to manage energy more effectively, data and analytics often focus on things like consumption, carbon emissions, and cost. Ideally, you’ll want to establish baselines for all data sets and then systematically track them as you make any operational changes or implement new technologies. Only then will you know for sure what’s working, what isn’t, and why.

Confidence and clarity

Whether you’re building a business case to justify new changes or even trialling a potential opportunity, organisations will likely require high quality data and careful analysis to make a final decision.

In a recent report, we found that when organisations have confidence in their data, they deal better with energy management overall. We call these businesses data leaders. Our results show that data leaders are more likely (by 27 percentage points) to feel they have good control over their energy consumption, compared with those with little confidence in their energy data. And more likely (by 20 percentage points) to feel in control of their ability to decarbonise the business. It seems getting to grips with your organisation’s energy data is beneficial both now and for what lies ahead.

Only 16%of data followers feel in control of energy consumption, compared to 43% of data leaders

Get the jump on artificial intelligence (AI)

New forms of power generation like smart grids and onsite generation are getting more and more complex. Large amounts of data is being produced as a result and the only way to manage it efficiently will be by using AI to do all the number-crunching. AI technology has the ability to make supply predictions, spot inefficiencies and consumption patterns – much faster and more accurately than any person. Businesses that get the jump on AI will therefore be in the best position to unlock more significant savings from costs to carbon.

From our report, we can see that those businesses who have confidence in their data are also those that are most likely to have adopted AI and be using it successfully to help manage their energy. And some sectors are ahead of others.

Biomedical and pharmaceutical manufacturing companies are most likely to say they have good control when it comes to understanding AI opportunities at 33%. Whereas just 10% of food and beverage manufacturing companies said the same thing.

Zero in on cost

The data leaders from our report are also ahead on a wide variety of key issues. As many as 78% of these businesses say they can extract meaningful insights from their consumption data, compared to just 40% of other businesses. 66% say they can improve cost predictability for energy and 62% say they can reduce energy cost, compared to just 43% of other businesses in both cases. 

As our research demonstrates, harnessing data insights pays off. Download the full report ‘How data, onsite generation and leadership strengthen energy control' for more information on adopting a data-driven approach, as well as recommendations for taking back energy cost control.

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