Leveraging Business Intelligence for a Competitive Advantage
Energy and utility companies that want to succeed in today’s global market will be those with the agility and foresight to expand into non-traditional businesses by shaping their products and services to evolving consumer demands. This agility and foresight comes from their ability to make sense of the massive amount of data they have available. This is where business intelligence (BI) tools become crucial.
By using BI tools to develop a Business Intelligence Strategy, energy companies can not only track their day-to-day operations and equipment performance more efficiently, but they can also carry out detailed trend analyses across all parts of their business allowing them see and relate data over time and to react more efficiently to outages, spikes in demand and new market opportunities or threats.
Why Energy & Utility Companies Should Adopt BI Tools
- Optimize supply-chain performance by providing increased data access to suppliers, distributors, and customers.
- Increase organizational and supply-chain visibility to enhance just-in-time management and inventory control
- Respond quickly to market opportunities by tracking and analyzing operational data across organization and supply-chain
- Improve customer relationships and increase value by tracking customer behavior and service issues and improving service delivery
- Streamline operations by using date for predictive analytics and demand forecasting
- Reduce downtime by monitoring assets in real-time for faster repairs and preventative maintenance
Our client is a fortune 200 global power company. As one of the world’s leading electrical power companies, they provide affordable and sustainable energy in over 17 countries spanning across North America, South America, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. The company operates a diverse portfolio of power distribution businesses as well as thermal and renewable generation facilities. They have a global workforce of over 21,000 people who are committed to operational excellence and meeting the world’s ever evolving power needs.
Our client wanted to improve their data storage and visualization capabilities starting with two of their business-critical reports, one being their Assets Health Index (AHI) and the other being their Key Indicator report. Their current system of reporting in Excel had been working ok for them but they wanted to take it to the next level in order to keep up with their steady growth and remain competitive in the market. In order to do this, they would first have to address some of their current challenges.
Since their reports existed in Excel, there were a few key challenges:
- They were unable to drill down or search a particular time in history
- Their data is very complex and comes from various sources making it difficult to manage in Excel
- They were required to manually update some sets of data and this data is updated at varying frequencies
- They did not have real-time data analysis capabilities which therefore causes a delayed reaction time
- There were multiple versions of the Excel file being shared internally
The client wanted a tool that would provide a consistent and robust view of operations across their organization in real-time. They turned to TechBlocks to help them achieve this goal.
TechBlocks-Defining a BI Strategy for Success
TechBlocks began their engagement with the client team by meeting with all key stakeholders to conduct a thorough BI assessment and analysis of their current reporting ecosystem, key pain points as well as their business goals and KPIs. TechBlocks then provided a BI solution roadmap that included the solution architecture design as well as the proof of concept (POC) all of which was centered around their business goals for operational efficiency and growth while at the same time creating an amazing user experience.
In just 5 weeks, TechBlocks helped to achieve the following:
- Conduct a BI assessment and analysis of current reporting ecosystem
- Provide complete BI solution roadmap including solution architecture design and proof of concept (POC) to client team
- Build a data store and OLAP cube for analytics
- Design and develop the process for loading existing date from the AHI and KI Excel spreadsheets
- Add an additional dimension to the date store in order to extend visualization capabilities including regions and time zones
- Modify existing data for easy extraction to data store
- Build routine program to load data into data store
- Build reports using Power Pivot, Power View and Power Query reports data source will be OLAP cube built from data store
- Build user friendly dashboards with drill down and filtering capabilities using Power BI
- Set up real-time alerts and notifications to users based on historical data trends of asset health.
- Provide high-level scope, strategy roadmap, solution approach and timeline for next phase of implementation
Our client is currently in the process of rolling out the dashboards, with the help of TechBlocks, to key stakeholders. Although we are still in the early phases of complete adoption, they are extremely satisfied with the quality of BI solution delivered to them and are discussing the possibility to further expand their BI solution to additional departments.