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Cloud Analytics Platforms: Do Analytics Fall from the Cloud? 

By May 22, 2023No Comments
Cloud Analytics Platforms
Six utility analytics experts discuss their motives to migrate to the cloud and the status of their cloud analytics platforms.

Listen in on an interactive and informative conversation about why these member utilities embarked on a journey to move to a cloud analytics platform and the results of their efforts.  Based on a poll taken by the Enterprise Analytics Community, analytics in the cloud is such a popular topic, we had to break it into three (3) parts: Introductory, Intermediate, and Advanced.

UAI member can click on the links to view the videos.

See About UAI below to learn more about the benefits of membership or contact Kevin Praet directly at

Introductory:  Getting into the Cloud

Our panel for the first session includes Alex Preston, the Sr. Manager, Analytics Platform at Entergy; Jerry Casarella, the Director of Analytics Infrastructure and Solutions at PSEG; and Andy Kapp, a Lead Data Scientist at Evergy.

These analytics leaders discuss how their migration to the cloud began, where they are in the process, the drivers behind their decisions, and lessons they learned along the way.   In addition, these experts respond to questions about:

  • Justification to regulators.
  • Benefits they realized.
  • Solution Providers for cloud analytics platforms.
  • Building trust around data security.
  • Determining where data lives.
  • Accessing data from SaaS applications.
  • Allocating costs to the business units.
  • Data ingest tools.
  • Educating their staff.

Intermediate: (Part 2) Doing Analytics in the Cloud

Our insightful conversation continues with session two bringing together Alex Preston, the Sr. Manager, Analytics Platform at Entergy; Jerry Casarella, the Director of Analytics Infrastructure and Solutions at PSEG; Norv Clontz, the Director of Data Science Innovation at Duke Energy; Kimberly Sorrell, Director Information Management Office at Southern Company; and Dan Smilowitz, Head of Enterprise Data & Analytics at Con Edison.

Session two dives deeper into each utility’s cloud experience and how they evangelized their efforts across the organization.  We even enjoy a little cloud humor along the way.

“I was thinking to start off today with a cloud joke, but I was afraid it would go over your head.” – Norv Clontz, the Director of Data Science Innovation at Duke Energy

The panel answers questions related to:

  • Motivation to move to a cloud analytics platform.
  • Multi vs Single cloud provider environments.
  • Bridging the skillset gap.
  • Overcoming misconceptions about cloud costs.
  • Handling the massive amount of AMI data.
  • Storing Power Quality Data.
  • Marketing analytics to the business units.
  • Disaster recovery strategies.

Advanced: (Part 3) Advanced Category Questions & Advice

Our final discussion brings the entire panel together with Alex Preston, Jerry Casarella, Andy Kapp, Norv Clontz, Kimberly Sorrell, and Dan Smilowitz answering questions about use cases and offering advice from lessons learned during the implementation and the ongoing production of their cloud analytics platforms.  The discussion includes topics such as:

  • Ease of use for data scientists.
  • Pros vs Cons of on-premise and cloud analytics platforms.
  • Hybrid on-premise / cloud analytics platforms.
  • Complexity of the cloud infrastructure.
  • Moving data between cloud platforms.
  • Adoption of Software as a Service (SaaS) and (Results as a Service (RaaS) models.
  • Prioritizing use cases based on expected out of the box vendor offerings.
  • Use case accelerators.
  • Charging out costs over multiple business units.
  • Best return on investment (ROI) use cases for cloud analytics platforms.

We appreciate the pioneering spirit of these utilities and candid conversations around the challenges and rewards of successfully moving to a cloud analytics platform. These stories inspire us.

About Utility Analytics Institute (UAI)

UAI Enables Utility Transformation Through Analytics

UAI is a utility-led membership organization that provides support to the industry to advance the analytics profession and utility organizations of all types, sizes, and analytics maturity levels, as well as analytics professionals throughout every phase of their career.

Transforming into a data decision-based company is one of the most difficult transitions a utility will have to make to thrive in the new energy economy. It’s more than just managing massive amounts of data, implementing the right tools and technology, and people and process management. It’s ensuring you have proper change management processes in place to address cultural challenges, as well as data management and governance plans, and best practice and compliant security strategies in place. It’s implementing the best organizational structure for your utility, and hiring and retaining talented staff, plus so much more! UAI brings together leading utilities who are serious about tackling these challenges and together we concentrate on utility analytics.

What’s UAI Membership all about?  UAI serves multiple audiences providing different membership packages for each audience type. Learn more about how UAI unifies our community, serves each audience to help you meet your goals and address challenges, and how each audience collaborates to better serve the utility industry.

The Enterprise Analytics Community will examine what it means AND what it takes to make the concept of “enterprise analytics” a reality. Members showcase their successes, share experiences, challenges, and gain valuable insights from a supportive and knowledgeable group of peers.

About Our Panelists

Cloud Analytics Platform Panel

Jerry Casarella is a husband and father of 2 and currently, the Director of Analytics Architecture and Solution at NJ’s largest utility company, PSE&G, where he has also worked as an Enterprise Architect on a variety of large-scale IT projects in various business domains: Smart Operations, Grid Modernization, Customer Operations, Renewable Energy Services, Power Generation.

Cloud Analytics Platforms Panel

Norv Clontz is the Director of Data Science Innovation at Duke Energy, where he is responsible for leading advanced analytics initiatives and developing internal competency in emerging areas such as deep learning for video & image analytics and natural language processing. His previous experience at the utility includes roles in Grid Solutions, Customer Insights, Telecoms, Customer PMO, and Natural Gas.

Prior to joining Duke Energy, Norv led the business analytics practice at a management and IT consulting firm. He has led consulting engagements for Fortune 500 clients around the world in industries such as utilities, oil & gas, automotive, retail, and financial services. Norv brings over two decades of strategy and implementation experience in data science, system implementation, and channel analysis. Norv earned a B.A. from the Johns Hopkins University and an M.B.A. from the University of South Carolina. He also holds a PMP certification.

Cloud Analytics Platform Panel

Andy Kapp is a Lead Data Scientist at Evergy, an energy utility located in Kansas and Missouri. Since 2001 he has primarily worked in positions focusing on data management, analytics and enterprise architecture. Andy specializes in strategies to help improve delivery of sustainable self-service technologies, democratize data and analytics and assist practitioners converge the missions of IT and the business/operations.

Cloud Analytics Platform Panel

Alex Preston is Entergy’s Senior Manager over their Analytics Platform within their Business Data & Insight group. He is currently helping lead Entergy’s cloud journey to replace their data lake with all new cloud-based tools. Alex has been with Entergy for 15 years and held roles across the organization in Finance, Supply Chain, Continuous Improvement, and IT.


Cloud Analytics Platform - Dan Smilowitz






Dan Smilowitz, Head of Enterprise Data & Analytics at Con Edison, is a utility data & analytics leader proficient in developing strategies to deliver business value through analytics products. I have a passion for building diverse teams and executive stakeholder management to boost data fluency. My goal is to establish a data-first culture to transform how companies treat data as a strategic asset and realize the value that can be realized from it.


Cloud Analytics Platform panel






Kim Sorrell, Director Information Management Office at Southern Company, has been in technology for over 25 years, having begun as a software developer prior to becoming a data architect and leading broad enterprise efforts. She has worked in multiple industries including Oil & Gas, Manufacturing, and Insurance in addition to the Utilities space. As a leader over the past decade, her passion is driving change and efficiency from effective use of data through governance, analytics, and artificial intelligence. She enjoys continuously learning about the art of the possible and received a Master’s in Machine Learning from Georgia Tech in 2021.