In decline: big data innovation among power industry companies has dropped off in the last year

Research and innovation in big data in the power industry operations and technologies sector has declined in the last year.

Powered by 

The most recent figures show that the number of big data patent applications in the industry stood at 73 in the three months ending October, down from 93 over the same period last year.

Figures for patent grants related to big data followed a similar pattern to filings, shrinking from 53 in the three months ending October last year to 32 this year.

The figures are compiled by GlobalData, which tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Using textual analysis, as well as official patent classifications, these patents are grouped into key thematic areas, and linked to key companies across various industries.

Big data is one of the key areas tracked by GlobalData. It has been identified as being a key disruptive force facing companies in the coming years, and is one of the areas that companies investing resources in now are expected to reap rewards from.

The figures also provide an insight into the largest innovators in the sector. Honeywell International was the top big data innovator in the power industry operations and technologies sector in the last quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in the US, filed 57 big data-related patents in the three months ending October. That was up from 54 over the same period last year.

It was followed by the Germany-based Siemens AG with 38 big data patent applications, the US-based 3M (12 applications), and Switzerland-based ABB (four applications).

3M has recently ramped up R&D in big data. It saw growth of 33.3% in related patent applications in the three months ending October compared to the same period last year, the highest percentage growth out of all companies tracked, with more than 10 quarterly patents in the power industry operations and technologies sector.


GlobalData has compiled a list of top MNCs based on revenue. Any top companies that did not have a subsidiary were removed from the list. The latest company annual reports (2019 and 2020, where available) and websites were analysed for a total of 2,188 companies.

For a subsidiary to be included, the parent company had to have a majority ownership/control in the subsidiary. Affiliates, associates, joint operations and joint ventures were included as long as the ownership criteria was met. Subsidiary information was captured at a country level. Country names were standardised. In total, 216,898 subsidiaries were captured.