Archive for Analytics

Big Data and SMEs

data“Big data” is all over the news these days. At its core, it simply refers to a volume of data beyond what most people or organizations are used to. Having had the opportunity to delve into a couple of data projects lately with small and medium enterprises (SMEs), I wanted to offer some insights into the opportunities and chalenges unique to these organizations.

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Clean Energy Trends

Change is afoot in how the biggest energy consumers get their energy. Green power purchasing – primarily through renewable energy certificates (RECs) – has grown by over 300% since 2006, and is forecast by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to grow anywhere from 50-400% over the next three years.

I’ve spent the past couple of days perusing data from the EPA on their Green Power Partnership program (GPP) to see what’s going on in the clean energy market. Why this data? For three reasons:

  1. Green Power Partnership participants constitute approximately 70% of the voluntary renewable power market.
  2. It’s the most granular data on buyers and suppliers that is publicly available.
  3. Historical data is available in a consistent format for over 5 years.
An increasing number of Fortune 500 companies are participating in the GPP – 65 in 2012, an increase of 33% since 2008. It may not come as a surprise that these companies are leading the charge on green energy purchasing, comprising 14.9 million MWh (73% of GPP purchasing) in 2012. Read more

Changing Reality

Yesterday’s election in the US offers some great lessons for those who want to change reality.  The first, and biggest, lesson is that it’s impossible to change reality just by ignoring it and inserting your own.

Indeed, many conservatives have expressed dismay at Romney’s loss when victory was inevitable, at least those firmly ensconced in the GOP echo chamber.  This despite signs that had long been pointing to a clear – though certainly not assured or overwhelming – victory for Obama.  Nate Silver deserves a lot of credit for using deep statistical analysis to show this reality, his FiveThirtyEight blog drawing strong readership along with conservative ire.

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