Kx powers Data Mart for Ontario’s Smart Meter Data

20 Mar 2017 | , , , ,
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By Przemek Tomczak


For over ten years Ontario, Canada has been a leader in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by closing coal-fired plants, diversifying its energy supply mix, promoting conservation, implementing time-of-use rates for electricity and by installing smart meters across the province.

The data from smart meters is processed by a government agency called the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) that manages Ontario’s bulk-power system. The IESO’s responsibilities include ensuring that there is enough power to meet the province’s energy needs in real time while also planning and securing energy for the future. The Smart Metering Entity within the IESO, operates the provincial smart meter data processing service (the MDM/R) for 67 distribution system operators and over 4 million customers.

The volume of data generated by the province’s smart meters exceeds 250 billion meter reads, and grows by 100 million reads per day. The administrator of this data is required to process and provide billing quality data to the utilities in the province in a timely manner and has set up a meter data management system (MDM/R) to do so.

However, the existing transaction and relational database system within the MDM/R was not originally designed to handle the increasing requirements of the fast growing data set and its users. That’s where Kx came in with its high-performance database system kdb+, and the suite of powerful data access and analytics tools built on top of it. The IESO chose Kx after evaluating a number of other technologies, and performing over 25 tests on five years of simulated data from 5 million smart meters. They found that kdb+ delivered very high levels of performance at the lowest total cost of ownership.

The IESO implemented a Data Mart using Kx technology to support the current volumes of data access requests and anticipated growth with 24x7x365 availability, as well as current and future demands for advanced analytics in Ontario’s energy sector. The Data Mart delivers low-latency simultaneous data ingestion, transformation, data retrieval requests, and is synchronized in near real-time with the MDM/R system. For example, with kdb+ the IESO is able to aggregate an entire year of data for all meters in a few minutes, which supports analysis of load profiles, consumption behavior and different rate models.

Ontario is taking the lead again, in adopting advanced tools for retrieval and analysis of the province’s smart meter data using Kx technology. To read more about the IESO use case, click here.


Przemek Tomczak is Senior Vice-President Internet of Things and Utilities at Kx Systems. For over twenty years, Kx has been providing the world’s fastest database technology and business intelligence solutions for high velocity and large data sets. Previously, Przemek held senior roles at the Independent Electricity System Operator in Ontario, Canada and top-tier consulting firms and systems integrators. Przemek has a CPA and a background in business, technology and risk management.