Hive, smart meters and an army of field workers collect data for former nationalised firm British Gas in huge amounts of data. But as CIOs have said before in these pages, it is not the amount of data that matters but the actionable insights that can be drawn from it.
CIO David Cooper and his team have been working on ensuring that British Gas can illuminate useful information from rising data levels through the adoption of open source Apache Hadoop database architecture.
"I want it on Hadoop to get a more rounded perspective,” the CIO said in a Profile interview. "We are using PowerBI and Qlikview as these tools mean we can allow the users to do so much more themselves.
"With these tools, users can fish in the lake and pull out what they want. The traditional technologies are limiting and struggle to scale. Relational databases were based on computer power," he says of the move away from traditional analytics tools.
"Hadoop scales massively and its heritage is with Google, LinkedIn and Facebook and there is a cost saving, which is a nice by-product. But more importantly it is much easier for us to answer those 'what if' questions."