Many power and utility companies are realizing that their current data strategy is insufficient for both present and future needs. Data capabilities in the sector fall short of requirements for reliability, cost efficiency, and productivity, and are ill-equipped to meet new demands related to emissions reporting and sustainability initiatives. The industry has set out to make more use of data and increase data-sharing capabilities to keep up with growing demand.
Power and utility companies require quality data to carry out their daily operations, ensure compliance, maintain grid reliability, produce accurate financial reports, and enhance the customer experience. However, data can also be a hindrance if not properly managed and governed. Poorly maintained legacy systems and mismatched data coming from different sources can result in poor data quality. This means using advanced analytics techniques to make smarter decisions more quickly and investing in digital technologies like AI and IoT to deliver new customer experiences.
Weak data control in power and utility companies can also lead to security concerns. Data officers must incorporate strong data governance protocols to promote secure data sharing. While it isn't necessary to have a CDO, or Chief Data Officer, it is highly recommended to establish a formal oversight and process. This collaborative effort will ensure proper management of data collection, protection, sharing, and control. By leveraging data more intelligently, companies can increase operational efficiency, reduce risk, and make their customers’ lives easier. In this way, data can help drive the future of power and utilities.
Executives in charge of power and utility data should prepare for compliance requirements and upcoming modifications related to integrating renewable energy and addressing issues related to environmental disasters and climate change, such as mitigation strategies. The new regulations require utilities to use asset data not only for planning, operations, and inspections but also for emissions reporting and complying with upcoming environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting mandates. Accurate and timely energy data and statistics are critical in meeting these requirements.
For companies to stay ahead of the competition, they must move beyond simple data storage and analysis, and start taking advantage of the potential that data offers. Access to accurate data systems enables users to develop self-service analytics capabilities, which can be used to explore new ways of addressing operational and energy supply challenges. If utilities do not upgrade their data capabilities to match the expected performance levels, their shortcomings may become apparent in this evolving industry.
Utility and energy companies can benefit greatly from leveraging equipment financing to acquire the necessary equipment and technology to remain competitive in the evolving industry without making large upfront payments or depleting working capital. This type of financing also provides a cost-effective way to invest in new sustainability initiatives or to upgrade or replace outdated equipment which can lead to greater operational efficiency, improved customer service and lower overhead costs.
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