Customer Spotlight: It’s HBase Week!

Categories: Hadoop HBase Use Case

This is the week of Apache HBase, with HBaseCon 2013 taking place Thursday, followed by WibiData’s KijiCon on Friday. In the many conversations I’ve had with Cloudera customers over the past 18 months, I’ve noticed a trend: Those that run HBase stand out. They tend to represent a group of very sophisticated Hadoop users that are accomplishing impressive things with Big Data. They deploy HBase because they require random, real-time read/write access to the data in Hadoop. Hadoop is a core component of their data management infrastructures, and these users rely on the latest and greatest components of the Hadoop stack to satisfy their mission-critical data needs.

Today I’d like to shine a spotlight on one innovative company that is putting top engineering talent (and HBase) to work, helping to save the planet — literally.

That company is Opower. Opower partners with 80+ utilities providers to offer an integratedcustomer engagement platform using a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. Its goal: to help people save energy and reduce utilities bills by applying intensive, Big Data analytics to deliver informative dashboards, alerts, incentives, similar household comparisons, and other communications to customers across communication channels and via in-home devices. Opower combines utility data — such as that from smart meters — with weather information, geographic details, demographic data and more, over decades of history, so it can offer valuable insights. (Hint: this is where the value of Hadoop and HBase come in.)

For example, Opower identifies similar households to each customer so it can tell you whether you’re using more or less energy than your peers. Interestingly enough, an Opower experiment revealed that this kind of social pressure to save energy has a much higher impact than incentives to save money, to be a good citizen, or even to save the planet.

Opower is demonstrating tangible results, with more than 2.5 terawatts saved as a result of its efforts.

Opower is demonstrating tangible results, measuring more than 2.5 terawatts saved as a result of its efforts — that is enough energy savings to power every household in Salt Lake City and St. Louis for more than a year!

I actually spent the day today interviewing five different Opower employees so we can work together on a written and video case study — so stay tuned; there’s more where this came from. It was a fascinating day to say the least.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in hearing how other companies — including, Experian, Facebook, Pinterest,, and Twitter — are applying HBase to solve Big Data problems, you should come to HBaseCon this Thursday in San Francisco, hosted by Cloudera.

If you’re already using HBase and want to learn how to build personalized applications on top of the popular Hadoop data store, consider checking out KijiCon on Friday, hosted by WibiData. Opower and Cloudera are both sponsoring this HBase-centric event.

It’s not too late to register for either HBaseCon or KijiCon.

And for more information on Opower’s use of Hadoop and HBase, here are some resources to check out:

Karina Babcock is Cloudera’s Customer Programs & Marketing Manager.