For more than a decade, communities around the globe have experienced an increased number of storms of historic proportions and seen increased investments in the electric distribution grid. This combination has generated expectations by regulatory authorities and customers alike for utilities to improve outage management. In response, utility executives are spending considerable time and money to improve outage planning, gain more value from infrastructure spend, reduce response times to events, and improve communications with customers. Data management and analytics in particular are receiving close scrutiny.
Many utilities have begun to integrate more sources of new and complex data into outage management. These include smart meters, sensors, distributed energy, mobile workforce, social media, and others. While using and analyzing these data (often referred to as Big Data or dark data) often shows utilities new ways to improve outage management, it can also increase the potential complexity of change management to previously unseen levels.
How can organizations that are so traditionally cautious harness the value of this complex data without being overwhelmed by change management? The solution lies in moving the organization toward more proactive processes in which continual improvement is the operating norm.
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Keywords: Utilities, Outage Management, Complex Data, Analytics, Big Data, Change Management, ARC Advisory Group.