Enterprise analytics: it's not just about data - it's about attitude too


By: SGN Staff


By H. Christine Richards


What enterprise analytics looks like for each utility company will vary significantly - depending on things such as the utility's regulatory environment, customer expectations and business structure. Given this reality, enterprise analytics is not an endpoint, but more an attitude and an approach for utility companies. This article highlights some of the findings from the Utility Analytics Institute report, Enterprise analytics: It's all about the right attitude. Some characteristics we see at utility companies moving toward enterprise analytics include:


·         Breaking down business silos

·         Embracing data integration

·         Supporting technology integration

·         Developing analytics excellence


Breaking down business silos

Utilities have excelled at managing individual functional areas, but advanced analytics will provide utilities with greater visibility of their supply chain from generation to consumption. Analytics have the power to tear down traditional organizational boundaries, enable new business models and processes, and develop a company culture where critical decisions are based on real-time, predictive analytics from across the organization. 


With these changes, utilities will be able to better understand how changes in one part of the company impact another through analytics. For example, how does an increase in CAIDI impact the average handle time in the call center? Is there a correlation between these two metrics? If so, what is the action needed to impact one or both of those areas? Utilities will have to breakdown the siloed nature of their business to address these new-found relationships.


Embracing data integration

Enterprise analytics isn't just about breaking down business silos, but data silos as well. In order to embrace enterprise analytics, utilities need to ensure that accurate, reliable data is available across the enterprise for a variety of analytics uses. 


The concept of enterprise-wide data isn't new, but its importance has come to the forefront recently as utilities gain more and more data from devices throughout the grid. Enterprise information management is about the structuring and governance of information assets across the utility, overarching the historical boundaries that have defined areas such as IT information and data, operational information and data, and customer service information and data. To take on enterprise analytics, a utility has to take enterprise-wide ownership and responsibility for the data, including its accuracy and quality, in order to improve both the data itself, and the company's operations.