Energy Management Industry 4.0 Data Infrastructure

Asset managing your data on the way to electrification

24 Mar 2020

By taking an asset management approach to your data, you can generate value both in the short and the longer term. If you think of asset management in terms of real estate, it is the process of maximizing both the return and the value of your investment in a piece of property. In maximizing your return, you seek to reduce expenditures, generate the highest and most sustainable sources of revenue and minimize your risk.

If you look at your data as an asset, the same basic principles apply – generate the most value on an ongoing basis by leveraging data in as many ways as possible to generate value, minimize , and reduce expenditures where possible without compromising the integrity of delivering on your use case. Your customer data is the most valuable asset you possess, in developing and executing energy programs and it requires the same level of strategic management as any other asset.

The past 30 years or so have generated significant changes in the energy management industry – from simple suggestions to use less energy to the current complex and dynamic utility programs. Energy management will likely undergo a further transformation, at an increased pace, driven by the push toward electrification and the better use of the data produced by the digitalization of the grid. Society’s response to climate change is leading to the electrification of buildings, transportation, and more, but technology –and, more specifically, the data it produces—is the undercurrent that will carry the energy transition forward.

Data has transformed how utilities operate, by expanding the volume and resolution of energy use data. While many understand the value of energy-use, the long struggle to maximize insight from it is producing tangible results at an increased pace. This has been especially true in energy efficiency, where significant investment and progress has been made in recent years to harness energy management data and create actionable insights that better serve customers and simplify program management.

These primary forces –electrification and data—will fundamentally change energy management. By viewing data as a strategic asset that needs to be managed and maintained, we take a proactive stand on shaping and directing the trajectory of the energy transition and the energy management industry. By recognizing that the pace at which data streams will increase and that the connectivity between them will not be slowing, means that delaying data asset management will only make the energy transition more difficult and more costly.

The acceleration of electrification and decarbonization will make managing data as a strategic asset increasingly necessary. The acceleration of electrification and decarbonization will result in the integration of two disciplines—data science and program management–and the resulting customer insights around behaviour patterns, needs, uses, and propensity will enable deeper, richer insights as well as programs and measures that meet or anticipate customer needs.

AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) has provided a rich bank of data. Still the differentiator for any company is to be able to skillfully use it and apply the resulting knowledge to generate value while fluidly moving through the market. Data driven decision making creates operational efficiencies and drives cost reductions through advanced market segmentation and propensity modeling to shape customer engagement and digital channel messaging strategy.  Being able to generate operational efficiencies and cost reductions, while executing propensity modelling to shape your customer engagement and digital channel messaging – not to mention exploring market segmentation at advanced levels – this is what data-driven decision making looks like. Recognizing that the data is an asset, an asset that properly managed will accelerate your program management and ease the transition to electrification and decarbonization.

I leave you with these data asset management questions:

1. What is your five-year data management strategy – in terms of investment and generating value?

2. Are you investing adequately in your data, your data systems, and professional expertise to manage and generate true value from your data?

3. Are you treating your data like an asset and generating a significant return on your investment? For that matter, have you defined a specific ROI relative to your data?


Author: Karen Germain

This article was originally published on DNV-GL.


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