Analytics & Environment Require Utilities To Change Mindsets

The advent of advanced analytics offers tremendous opportunities for utilities in challenging times.  The times are challenging because of political decisions being made in national and state capitals around the world.  A lot of those decisions relate to environmental issues and those decisions have broad effects on utilities.

 

Do you remember where you put those solar panels?

Do you remember where you put those solar panels?

One of the major issues utilities always have faced is having less than comprehensive inventories of their assets.  Too often, they have relied upon long-experienced staff to know what facilities are in what locations, their conditions and their maintenance/replacement needs.  With an aging/retiring workforce, relying upon such experience no longer is viable.

 

What utilities have begun to do, but need to accelerate if they hope to survive in today’s rapidly changing business environment, is reduce all the accumulated knowledge of field crews and staff into detailed lists providing a comprehensive database against which advanced analytics can be applied.  Yes, the industry faces mega-issues with the Global Warming scare, reduced consumption, U.S. federal government hyper-activity in generation.  But a major part of the solution to these mega-trends, is to have the minute data needed to understand the effect of these trends on assets, replacement costs, budgeting trends, etc.  In other words, they know there is a forest out there, count the trees, their types, age, health, height, number of leaves, etc.  Then put advanced analytics to work determining how to help deal with the forest.

–Warren B. Causey

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