Kx Systems: Revolutionizing Utilities with Better Data Analytics

Janet Lustgarten, CEO & Co- founder
Utilities today are re-evaluating their technology invest- ments in anticipation of the need for better analytics due to an explosion of data being collected from smart grid devices and smart meters.

To maximize the value of these growing volumes of new data types for predictive modeling and real-time outage correc- tions, the power industry is increasingly turning to technolo- gies—such as Kx Systems’ kdb+—that are proven in high-speed computing and data-intensive industries, and finding they can outperform their existing solutions. Kx Systems, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based software company is successfully helping utilities make this transition with its data- base, kdb+.
The technology has been widely adopted by Wall Street for the past two decades, where it is used for analyzing enormous volumes of data in real-time. “Utilities want to get greater benefits from the data they col- lect,” said Janet Lustgarten, CEO of Kx Systems.

“We are find- ing that they are looking to other industries for proven solutions to replace their legacy software.” Among Kx’s customers are the Independent Electricity Sys- tem Operator of Ontario, and Total Gas and Power UK, as well as nine of the top global banks including Goldman Sachs, JP- Morgan and Morgan Stanley. In discussions with utilities, Kx finds they are looking for better tools for smart meter analytics, to enable them to quickly analyze use patterns; discover outages and fraud and more care- fully manage their electricity load.

When, for example, changing conditions cause energy variables such as voltage and temperature captured by smart devices to double or triple data output, kdb+ could adapt, applying cor- rections and updates on the fly while the system remains online. Because of the database’s extended temporal data types, these time-series events can be manipulated with ease.

Kx is part of the Internet of Things revolution because kdb+ can capture and store data from a wide ecosystem of devices

“Smart meter data is mutable with the potential for cor- rections and updates far into the future. Kdb+ can apply these changes seamlessly while keeping the system online 24/7. And, thanks to the product’s scalability, sudden spikes in volume caused by the variability in smart meter data capture are easily absorbed,” said Fintan Quill, Kx Systems’ Global Head of Pre- Sales Engineering. Kx’s utility customers find that kdb+ applications require many fewer programmers to build and maintain. Kdb+ is a time-series database with a tightly coupled array programming language, and this combination leads to very fast development times. Kdb+ is well known for its high-performance and stabil- ity, as well as its ease of maintenance.

“Another significant benefit of Kx software is that because it is so performance-focused its utility customers are shocked to find that instead of needing dozens of servers for major applica- tions with billions of rows of data, one server will suffice with kdb+,” said Lustgarten. Kx is part of the Internet of Things revolution because kdb+ can capture and store data from a wide ecosystem of devices and it can quickly provide sophisticated time-series analytics on trillions of records. “Time-series analytics is now more relevant than ever, and bringing together in-memory database analytics with vast stores of on-disk historical data, in the way our software can, is trans- forming how business is done,” said Lustgarten.

Kx Systems

Palo Alto, CA

Janet Lustgarten, CEO & Co- founder and Abby Gruen, Chief Marketing Officer

Provides a high-performance database system for extremely fast analysis of large scale volumes of streaming real-time and historical data.