Energy Optimization Through Data-Driven Strategies

Investing in advanced analytics and implementing data management frameworks have become top priorities for organizations seeking to drive digital transformation and establish a data-driven culture.

Overview

As a critical business component, utility companies must be fully informed about data processes and have the capabilities to predict power generation and grid loads in advance. Investing in advanced analytics and implementing data management frameworks have become top priorities for organizations seeking to drive digital transformation and establish a data-driven culture. 

The energy company in this case study is one of the largest electricity providers in the world. The company identified that success in establishing a data-driven culture is essential for energy efficiency, avoiding operational issues, preventing downtime periods, and optimizing operations in their entirety. Guided by an overarching vision to optimize costs and services while ensuring compliance, the company requested the ability to understand and forecast energy loads every hour, anytime, irrespective of conditions. This required a well-governed data generation and management program that could facilitate the delivery of impeccable services with real-time insights, accuracy, and consistency.

Challenges

1

Data
Management

The company encountered persisting difficulties stemming from existing data management processes, hindered by basic and increasingly unsuitable data visualization tools, with reports shared through channels that were not fully adapted to the purpose. 

2

Data
Integrity

The company raised concerns related to data integrity. Human error, data tampering, and interpretation bias collectively resembled an underlying issue that required attention. Furthermore, the company required traceability and overall history and recordings logging, as well as formulas alignment across different units.

3

Real-Time
Data

Reports were being completed and submitted at the end of each day. Although this did not cause constant issues, the timeframe always posed a potential problem because last-minute reporting was too late should critical situations arise. In today’s fast-paced environment, real-time action and access are essential given the high-level stakes and sensitive nature of data governance and management.

What We Did

Involve Stakeholders And Listen To Their Recommendations

Stakeholders had an important role to play in facilitating a new organizational data governance approach. Interviews were conducted with senior management figures and technicians to listen to their concerns and how they carried out their roles in terms of tools and workflows.

Reconstruct Data History

We prioritized a comprehensive data history reconstruction. This entailed collecting dispersed and scattered data records from all organizational and regional areas. Moreover, we unified the calculation process to ensure the company would have seamless access to all history from a single source. Stakeholders would approve commonalities and formulas prior to implementation, which would also help the wider organization become familiar with data, metrics, and formulas.

Establish A Dedicated Data Center

To manage and monitor every data governance requirement and ensure sustainable processes, we built a data center within the company’s headquarters that was connected with different operating areas. The system was introduced to gather real-time data from all units and generate a single version of the truth, which involved hardware installation, network configuration, and software configuration and development. Furthermore, we leveraged the company’s existing systems and oversaw integration using microservices and the application programming interfaces (API) economy.

Introduce A Visualization Tool

The final part of our approach was creating an actionable dashboard tool that provided the company with the ability to securely access data, customize configurations, and create dashboards on demand. To ensure the tool could provide these benefits, it would rely on the data cubes concept, Microsoft technology, and the Angular web application framework, followed by integration with the active directory for user permission purposes.

The Impact

State-of-the-art Data Management

With the establishment of the dedicated data center, all data processes become centralized. Due to the successful hardware installation, network configuration, software configuration and development, and rollout phases, the company received historical and real-time data and information from all operating areas. Moreover, the company benefitted from enhanced security and scalability, managed permission and access, and a superior visualization tool.  

Business Processes Integration

We ensured that the new data governance system was fully integrated with the company operational workflows. Data was leveraged to automatically trigger specific and desired responses without the risk of human error and other traditional concerns. For example, should any given unit misfunction or an unusual pattern be detected, a ticket would be initiated within the maintenance workflow. 

Real-time Grid Monitoring

The company also became empowered through real-time grid monitoring capabilities, utilizing data and information to constantly analyze the status of processes and the overall system. Furthermore, the company was able to measure, monitor, assess, and predict all aspects of data governance across the region, backed by the latest data communication, visualization, and algorithmic technologies. 

An Organization-wide Impact

The company immediately benefitted from the new services across its entire scope of operations. Due to new tools and processes being modern, world-class, and human-centric, an organizational paradigm shift was facilitated, with advancements and improvements coming into effect across multiple operational and functional domains within the company. 

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