Although a desirable attribute, not all operations models currently make use of real-time data for various reasons. To say the least, the regional scope and comprehensiveness that current data encompasses may be considered limited and incomplete. However, as computational, communication, security, and instrumentation technologies advance, smart grid technology demonstrates the potential to radically change network monitoring and data collection capabilities and advance simulation methods beyond that achievable given the current institutional environment. Because smart grid has the potential to conduct data collection in real time and to improve modeling and simulation results, potential data overload, validation, security, access, and other challenges are leading to new design opportunities. Similarly, we can expect significant impacts on system operation procedures and increased use of enhanced automation applications in operations decision making.