Top 2020 Utility Trend: Data Collection Became (More) Agnostic

The following is an excerpt from our Expert Insights: The Top Utility Trends of 2020 & 2021 ebook. You can access the full report here.

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With agnostic data collection, it doesn’t matter how you get the data as long as it’s accurate and high quality. But it does matter how you use it, and new aspects of this trend are helping every department in a utility get the most out of all of their data.


“Utilities have always been using data-agnostic opportunities, they just haven't been combining them,” explains Kristen Ellerbe, VP Product Management & Design at PrecisionHawk. “So what you'll see is that utilities are collecting with different modalities—they've got IoT devices, they're doing walks down the street, they're flying with drones, they’re even pulling satellite information. The problem is, most of the time those are applied in specific departments, instead of being used as an agnostic data source to be facilitated across their entire organization.” 

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In 2020, we saw advancements in higher-level data management tools that allow you to aggregate data into one location, run it through standardized AI, ML, or manual analytical processes—and then use all that information to get a holistic point of view of your system, rather than seeing it through the narrow lens of only thermal imagery or only LIDAR.

In addition, thanks to more shareable data formats, every relevant department in a utility can use the data to make better decisions and take the right actions.

“The big trend was taking data sets from different collections, automating the analysis and reporting processes, and getting the information to utility operators in a smart, organized, intuitive way,” says Dave Culler, Senior VP of Sales & Marketing at PrecisionHawk. “So they not only know where the asset is, but they know exactly what the issue is.”

Download our ebook, Expert Insights: The Top Utility Trends of 2020 & 2021, to learn how you can take advantage of 2020 trends and 2021 predictions in data collection and GIS technology.

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