Unlocking the Power of Data in Utilities

While Marilyn Monroe was fixated on diamonds sixty years ago, the most coveted asset for utilities of the future has to be data. These days, it's rare to find a business in any industry or of any size that isn't focusing on what data analytics and insights can do for them; utilities are no exception.

While utilities are not new to the data sphere, the volume of data that modern, digital utilities are forced to deal with, along with the increasing siloed state of information, is making deriving actionable insights harder than ever for utility managers. A West Monroe survey in 2018 found that only 32% of utility respondents strongly agree their organization is highly adept at leveraging data for insights, predictive outcomes, and business growth, showing that our industry has a long way to go.

Utilities are sitting on a goldmine of information: from consumption data and customer contact details to meter flags, grid performance metrics, and more. However, the challenge lies in the fragmented nature of data systems within utilities, leading to data silos that hinder a comprehensive view of operations and customer behavior. Breaking down these silos by integrating disparate data systems is the crucial first step towards unlocking valuable data insights.

VertexOne is dedicated to supporting over 400 utilities nationwide in dismantling these silos. By utilizing standardized integration protocols, VertexOne facilitates seamless bi-directional data exchanges between systems.

Blog Image How Self-Service Forms Transformed Operational Efficiency at GWR

Once data integration is achieved, utility managers can anticipate a more efficient process for accessing data insights to make informed decisions. Through aggregated data analytics solutions, previously concealed insights into customer behavior, usage patterns, and system operations become readily available. This accessibility not only saves valuable time for utility managers but also eliminates the need for manual data analysis through spreadsheets.

Take, for example, the traditional method of identifying water leaks, which required tedious analysis of customer water usage data to detect irregularities. By implementing automated leak detection, alerting, and resolution via VertexOne's customer portal, utility staff have reduced their workload by approximately 10 hours per week! The ability to customize leak detection parameters for both AMI and non-AMI customers provides real-time visibility into potential customer leaks, with automated alerts sent through preferred communication channels without additional effort.

Furthermore, the success stories of some clients utilizing automation through forms are truly inspiring. GWR Call Center Manager, William Finlayson, highlighted the efficiency gained by automating routine processes, stating, “We literally could do the call with recorded voices. And that’s not where you use humans. Humans are problem solvers. Humans are people who connect. Those are the calls that you want to have a good customer service person to interact with the customers.” By optimizing call center operations with VXsmart Forms, GWR employees deliver faster and more efficient service to customers, ultimately boosting job satisfaction and morale.


Success with Software Automation at GWR

Data analytics presents a wide array of applications that continue to expand. Utilities now more than ever require the capabilities provided by data analytics platforms. These applications range from optimizing operational efficiency to enhancing customer retention by delivering superior customer service and experiences.

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