Knowledge is power
What's the fix?
Analytics can strengthen three interconnected pillars of top-line growth: customer base, asset base and regulatory process:
Utilities need to build the capability to turn data into actionable information, to reduce the time from ask to answer and to foster a culture of knowledge among the employee base.
"Technology is certainly important, but it can only be as successful as the processes that it supports." — UAI, Analytics Case Studies and Best Practices.
Asset base — analytics can enable optimization of infrastructure investments, lower total costs and improve the quality of investment decisions and tax forecasts.
- Utilities are using predictive analytical models to proactively monitor asset health and optimize work and asset management. Some utilities are using analytics to help identify unitization issues and remediate construction work in progress backlogs.
- Analytics can help improve the speed, efficiency and overall success of a capital project. As power and utilities companies expand into new technologies and implement new service delivery models, they can use analytics to target investments more accurately.
- Analytics can drive lower-cost delivery models through the use of predictive models to improve asset maintenance. Similar analytic models can be used to optimize field operations and work management.
Customer base — analytics is a critical component of growing customer value.
- Utilities are developing new customer services, including energy efficiency programs, demand-side management, “smart” energy information, electric vehicle offerings, and appliance and service assurance products. Using analysis such as segment-by-segment usage patterns and knowledge of customer appliances and risk profiles, leading utilities are developing probabilistic analyses to focus on hit rate and retention rates of their highest-value customers for these services.
- Acquiring customers for new optional services requires a completely different approach from the traditional utility model. Customer segmentation analytics and target marketing tools and platforms are required to inform a robust marketing strategy.
- Utilities have recaptured up to 1% of revenue through optimizing treatment paths, better cut-out routing, and improving employee response to customer situations.
- Higher customer satisfaction increases adoption of other programs/services by up to 20%. Many utilities are using analytics such as journey mapping and various regression techniques to better understand and harness the drivers of customer satisfaction.
Analytics can help "grow" revenue simply by stopping it from "leaking" via theft and fraud
Regulatory process — analytics can help improve mechanisms for cost recovery of capital investment and ongoing O&M costs.
- Utilities can prioritize asset investments based on a risk-informed evaluation, building on a traditional relativistic assessment. This type of analytics mechanism drives better decisions around asset planning and regulatory recovery.
- Analytics help utilities model enterprise information, industry economics and business intelligence to provide fact-based support for regulatory filings. Utilities can use the increasing availability of enterprise data to remove ambiguity relating to regulatory reporting.
- Segmentation analysis that identifies groups of customers who benefit from investments can inform cost recovery allocation models, providing more support for investment assumptions and decisions as well as clear, factual data to accompany a rate case filing.