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Changing landscape of utility industry!

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Rahul Krishna Pandey's picture
Principal Consultant - Business Process Services (BPS) Tech Mahindra

Helping business to innovate via sustained technology consulting. On mission to transform Energy and Utilities companies and operators through technical marketing, automation and process...

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  • Jan 27, 2019 9:00 pm GMT

This item is part of the Special Issue - 2019-01 - Predictions & Trends, click here for more

We are at the future-action of digital revolution; it’s certain that every utility witnessing the potential breakthrough to make their asset management strategy more operational in terms of less risk, preventing from failure, reduced cost, and especially advancing the consistency of the assets. Well, how can it be done?

By understanding the current state of utility and its challenges (explained below), we can brainstorm various strategies which helps meet all your operational objectives. Among those, implementing Data Driven Asset Management solution will facilitate managing any critical asset risks.

What is data driven asset management?

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It is an approach where your asset management practices gets transform by a collection of quality data and an accurate analysis of those data. The data can be analyzed by smart technological frameworks such as Predictive asset analytics & Big Data Analytics. Hence, Data Driven Asset Management does have a potential to change future landscape of utility industry.

Utility’s current state of the art!

At present, the major setback is to handle the complex data requirements. Even though, the current technology is never failing to streamline the utility advancements, there is quite a complexity every utility professional think about in terms of data security and asset management.

  • How can I better supervise Data Security?
  • How can I manage and safeguard Data Security with no loss of information or by sustaining quality data?
  • How can I better invest in projects and satisfy every customer?
  • Will Data Driven Asset Management solve the issue / risk of an aging workforce? If so, how?
  • If it’s going to work, what are the costs and benefits of Data Driven Asset Management?
  • If we’re going to adopt data driven strategies for asset management, would that be easy to implement without colliding existing data?

Asset managers must take a deep consideration and carefully frame the solutions for above challenges. However, it’s worth investing your money & efforts adopting data innovation that results in core value. This can be carried out by painstaking research determining where your company stands in operational intelligence, complete business goals, how far you letting the automation to take over the day-to-day functions, optimizing your assets using data and more importantly choosing your asset management software that provides full support and more accurate considering your particular region or location.

How utilities are transforming?

In an advanced technological world where IoT and big data dominates. It seems to be obvious, as IDC forecasts from 2017 - 2022, revenues for big data and business analytics solutions are expected to reach $260 billion in 2022, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12%.

As big data is becoming less of an experimental endeavor rather than practical pursuit within organisations, as noted by Jessica Goepfert. It has started helping utility companies to track consumption pattern and forecast, to accordingly shift the supply in both space and time, hence, resulting in efficiently utilizing assets.

This transformation takes a different shape. For instance, ‘’Smart Grid Deployment as an Opportunity for Big Data’’. Both developing and developed economies, such as China, India, the United States, have introduced their smart grid plan to meet the increasing electricity demand, reducing transmission & distribution loss (especially in Asia-Pacific), and to establish two-way communication for managing the consumption trend.

As a result, smart grid deployment programs are expected to increase the volume of data. This creates huge opportunity for the market to use the data generated to draw some valuable insights, which can be helpful in reducing the number of power outages, managing supply during peak hours through variable pricing, and others.

Also in utilities, Big Data Gaining Momentum which is evident from Reuters report which mention, In the USA, companies in the electricity sector have installed 65 million smart meters, covering more than 50% of the total households, in 2015. Deployment reached approximately 70 million smart meters by the end of 2016, and is projected to reach 90 million by 2020. Utilities in the country are increasingly using big data for better decision making. Baltimore Gas & Electric is building several process and organizational changes in order to support and drive value from a centralized data analytics solution. PG&E, a gas and power company of California is tackling the big data challenge through its Interval Data Analytics (IDA) significantly reducing the time to access the data and explore questions, which were never before investigated.

The biggest changes you see coming up!

When companies reap their share of that sum by benefiting from new efficiencies, innovations and best practices, that’s where the biggest changes you’ll see coming up in utilities. Following are some of the emerging technologies, which you witness soon, are going to change the current landscape of utility’s industry.

Real-time monitoring for asset management; creation and real time landbase & facility updates to leverage asset infrastructure data such as property and easement lines, street centerlines, point features and building polygons to meet the growing customer expectations and regulatory compliance.

Asset registers using block chain & predictive analytics; support in predicting business trends and customer behavior for both short and long term business planning and adds value by delivering business intelligence about your business that enables better decisions, where as block chain technology enables you to manage data more efficiently to attain asset optimization.

Visualization & innovative maintenance practices; using wearable devices, virtual and augmented reality, utility has now started assets inspection and maintenance, work instructions, training, workflow management, operations and safety etc. These technologies fundamentally shift the way information is relayed to the user, and offering immediate access to critical data and information.

Centralized asset management and spatial analytics; best breed of technologies such as Geo-enabled applications (web mapping, mobile GIS, sensors and operations dashboard) powered with advance spatial analysis, and process innovations for managing assets are solving utility’s problems through providing access, query, and display functionalities via a web map of real-time outage status and economic loss information associated with outages in the county scale.

Rahul Krishna Pandey's picture
Thank Rahul Krishna for the Post!
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