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  • Advanced Analytics Group Case Studies
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Lightning Analysis (GIS)

The Louisville Gas and Electric company purchased software from Vaisala to measure lightning strikes. With 24/7 monitoring of the continental United States, the National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) is the most scientifically accurate and reliable lightning information system. KiZAN helped LG&E integrate this data into their data warehouse.

The manual process of analyzing the lightning data required searching between multiple systems and was very time intensive. If large storms moved through the area it could take half a day or more to check all outages caused by potential lightning strikes.

The initial solution extracted the previous day’s data and loaded it into the data warehouse. Using spatial data within SQL Server, code was developed to calculate the distance between a lightning strike and the transmission network system. The decision was then made to purchase a new server to store historical lighting data for the state of Kentucky.

LG&E and KiZAN worked with a third vendor to set up and configure a Red Hat Linux environment and PostgreSQL database. KiZAN was selected to monitor, administer, and troubleshoot the data pipeline between the Vaisala main database and the replica. Data is replicated every 15 minutes and a new batch of data is retrieved from the main database.

The current solution creates an extract every 15 minutes and brings lighting data into the data warehouse. Distances between each strike and the transmission system network are precalculated. KiZAN was selected to install and administer Esri ArcGIS Standard for hosting spatial data REST services. KiZAN also created a web interface to allow searching outages and time periods where lightning strikes occur.


  • Manual time-consuming search for lightning strikes
  • Combining multiple data sources manually
  • Historical data not easily accessible


  • Speeds up the process to run every 15 minutes and stays up to date
  • Improves the process by ensuring data quality and accurate calculations to milliseconds
  • Provides a simple web interface for searching multiple datasets and spatial data


  • Business team members freed up to work on other projects
  • Automates selection of strikes to outage for easier identification
  • Presents spatial technology in new ways
  • Fully managed and supported by the KiZAN analytics team


Case Studies