How analytics can supercharge your reporting

Posted on August 03, 2016
Posted By: David Pope
Co-author: Gilbert Hernandez

I’ve written before about how analytics is the ultimate renewable resource due to the fact that the same “math” can be applied to solve problems or improve processes across all different departments independent of the industry.  Many articles on analytics and utilities currently focus on the benefits of analytics applied to improving smart grid and/or preventive maintenance which is very true.  However, in this case, I’d like to expand the use of analytics into an area that many may not of thought of as a place that analytics could and should be used, which is in reliability of service and the regulatory and compliance reporting which impacts the utilities overall operational and brand reputation.   You can apply the same powerful analytic algorithms (predictive, forecasting, optimization, machine learning, deep learning, AI) you would use to improve safety and predict maintenance more accurately to reliability reporting which helps involve your overall operations while as the same time improve customer satisfaction which will drive an improvement in your organization’s brand.  Who wouldn’t want to be involved in championing the use of more analytics in the regulatory and compliance areas of any utility?

Everyone who works in the utility industry are well aware of the importance electricity plays in modern life.   It is very important for energy suppliers to provide reliable service to both commercial and residential customers.  The utility industry for such reason has developed a set of metrics, subject to governmental bodies supervision, that are used to monitor the reliability of the service provided such as: SAIDI, SAIFI, MAIFI and CAIDI metrics. 

With modern IT infrastructure collecting more data from more types of equipment, the ability to combine and apply analytics to this data in stream and use a combination of near real-time and historic analytical insight it is possible to super charge your typical regulated reporting processes and reports.   Now is the time to modernize your process that relies too heavily on using spreadsheets not only to delivering the final results (which may still actually be the best channel), but are the primary tools used for data analysis and processing too. Spreadsheets were not designed to handle the volume and velocity of today’s collected data and have never been known to provide the best analytics which drives more useful insight into the future instead of just reporting on what has happened.  

When you update your processes to work with analytics on the volume of data you know have at your fingertips today your compliance reporting department can transform from just reporting to work more closely with your operational folks to dig deeper into the available data and use visual analytics and advanced algorithms to spot patterns and trends (formerly not able to be detected) to help resolve network issues faster than ever before.  This will make it possible to reduce the actual downtime involved and help improve the overall reliable of delivering service to all customers.  These two key benefits alone will reduce regulatory/compliance fines while at the same time increase customer satisfaction. 


Figure above: Web browser based visual analytics solution used for analysis of any size data and reporting purposes.   This report ranks the worst performing substations / feeders and the % improvement impact that addressing the prioritized issues would have in regards to the reliability metrics. This view results in prioritization of investments and the type of expenditure that needs to be made to bring in the necessary corrections in the system.

Authored By:
David Pope has over 25 years of business experience in advanced analytics working in R&D, IT, Marketing and Sales. He developed expertise in big data analytics and enterprise architecture across several industries including Finance, Communication, Healthcare, Government, and Education prior to focusing on the Energy industry. He graduated Magne Cum Laude from North Carolina State University with a BS in Industrial Engineering and a Certificate of Computer Programming. He has presented

Other Posts by: David Pope

On natural gas and analytics - September 09, 2016
On meter data and analytics - August 26, 2016

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