THE BLOG

Why U.S. Energy Could Be the Next Big Data Engine

03/10/2015 04:22 pm ET | Updated May 10, 2015

One of the worst kept secrets in the world of Big Data is this: it's not just about getting and using information. It's about being the one who can access the most...whether you want to use it or not. Some industries have bought into Big Data, but they are waiting to implement their plans. And some, like the energy industry, are just holding on for the right moment to leverage all the data they have collected. But why?

First, it's important to understand that the vast majority of the information being collected by sensors on oil rigs around the world is not being utilized at all - by anyone. How big is this disparity? Reports put the number at less than one percent of the information gathered from 30,000 separate data points. Now think about all of that data is being collected, but less than one percent is being leveraged in any way.

Now break that down into one aspect of the industry. Data can be extracted and explored relative to every aspect of drilling, including the actual process, machine maintenance, human resource management, production and protection - just about anything. But almost no one is taking advantage of that information. The result? Drilling oil, one of the most important operations of our modern world, is operating nowhere near peak capacity or efficiency.

The company that chooses to take advantage of the opportunity not only gives their brand an immediate and substantial advantage in the market, it also lays the foundation for them to gain even more control and market share in the future.

Not only that, but data-driven analysis will also be a huge PR win. Considering how important oil is to everyday life in the modern world, the company that opts to extract it more efficiently and productively will earn the immediate appreciation of not just the consumers but all the middlemen as well. Yet more evidence of the untapped potential that resides in Big Data analysis.

David A. Steinberg is CEO of Zeta Interactive, one of America's leading Big Data companies.