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  • admin 9:52 am on July 24, 2015 Permalink
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    by Brian JoreQ2-15_industry-eye

    Utility companies face an increasingly complex matrix of challenges in their quest to generate and deliver power efficiently. Traditional concerns such as reducing operating costs, ensuring reliability and meeting regulatory requirements are layered with myriad new demands in an ever-changing landscape.

    While automation has vastly streamlined data collection processes, utility operations and financial management teams are under relentless pressure to enhance and protect revenues, lower maintenance costs and reduce unnecessary debt write-offs. Utilities collect massive amounts of data, yet despite investments in applications and analytics tools, many struggle to transform their information into actionable insights that generate real value across the business spectrum.

    Invigorate Operations and Energy Delivery

    Analytic solutions, along with an industry-specific understanding of how to adapt the solutions to the needs of an individual utility, support tightly integrated initiatives that can produce results. Those results are prominent in four key areas:

    • Operations and financial management
    • Energy efficiency and demand response
    • Load management and power quality
    • Regulatory and rate design

    By uncovering gaps in operations and understanding their financial impact, sophisticated data integration and advanced analytics enable utility companies to sift through meter, billing and collections information. This allows them to quickly identify potential problems and gain a better understanding of which alarms and service orders demand priority, and which can wait. As a result, utilities can operate more efficiently and reduce costs.

    Similarly, energy efficiency and demand response programs have become strategic concerns for utility companies. Most are keenly aware of load reduction targets set by regulatory bodies, and utilities would rather manage their current resources effectively than build budget-busting new power plants.

    Integrated data and analytics allow better customer segmentation, enabling utilities to foster increased customer participation in efficiency and demand response programs. Organizations can also better measure their programs’ performance and metrics. Utilities benefit from stronger revenues, enhanced insights for regulatory bodies, and even improved load management and power quality.

    Shed Light On Forecasting and Costs

    Organizations are faced with the urgent need to improve grid efficiency while ensuring customers and regulators of the reliability and availability of energy. Data and analytics solutions help with that challenge. They provide the insights needed to improve load forecasting and capacity planning, which reduces power generation costs.

    Another opportunity is the correlation of “meter events,” such as power outages, for improved power quality and delivery. To better manage outages, a utility can leverage data from smart meters and network management systems for outage verification or to incorporate fleet management and geographic information systems to restore power.

    By realizing and optimizing the benefits of integrated data, utilities also gain more control over load management and power quality to contain costs and enhance brand reputation. In addition, reliable, current data improves load profiling, rate case performance and rate design. Moreover, the information allows a better understanding of revenue variances while shedding light on opportunities for new rates and improved margins.

    Utilities can also gain insights into pricing. This information can support numerous adjustments that help organizations apply price variables to meter or customer groups to understand how margins are impacted by customer segments, such as low income households or small businesses.

    No More Blind Spots

    Combining data with the power of analytics provides business units with an end-to-end view of the utility that eliminates blind spots. This view—which delivers increased transparency and shared insights—enables departments within any utility to pursue key initiatives both individually and jointly.

    Utilities can tailor approaches that source and integrate data according to industry best practices. The companies can then implement solutions that foster stability and growth.

    Brian Jore is a director of Business Consulting for Teradata. He works with organizations to increase business insights through analytics and BI. 

    Read the this article and more in the Q2 2015 issue of Teradat
    a Magazine

    The post UTILITY COMPANIES GET ENERGIZED WITH INTEGRATED DATA appeared first on Magazine Blog.

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