The value of data and information

An investment in advanced data collection technology returns value far beyond meter reading and billing.

The traditional view of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) is that it provides reductions in meter reading costs and improvements in meter reading operations. While this is true, it is far from the whole story. The greater story is the exploding value of infrastructure-wide usage information. In truth, data that is collected for $1 today will be worth orders of magnitude more in the future. This is possible by transforming data that is currently used for billing purposes into information with strategic applications along the interdependencies of a fully realized smart city infrastructure, one where a full value chain is optimized and performing against this connected and shared data.

Five areas in which AMI data can be used include:

  • Improving revenue cycle services through increasing operating efficiency, increasing the efficiency of field staff, and improving revenue assurance.
  • Managing the local distribution system through the immediate reporting of any outages, planning system improvements, forecasting load and usage, and correlation against other smart infrastructure usage patterns.
  • Managing deregulated/customer choice environments through improved forecasting, reconcilement and settlements, improved outage detection and reliability, meeting new data requirements, integrating renewables, and preparing for retail competitiveness along the entirety of the customer value chain.
  • Delivering new services including updated billing options, monitoring and data delivery services, consulting and other services, submetering, and alternative wireless communications avenues.
  • Delivering value to the end customer by identifying usage patterns, providing monitoring and data delivery services, allowing for submetering, giving customers billing options that best suit their needs, and integrating customer-facing servicing and response systems such as dedicated webpages or smart phone applications.

The new uses and new users of information have forged a new economic reality in today’s smart city infrastructure. Information – the ability to gather it, manage it, distribute it, correlate it, action it and maximize its value will be key arbiters of success in the fully connected marketplace of the 21st century. That’s why we’ve included comprehensive analytics in our DataSCAPE™ product as well as scalability in the system to enable expansion along a connected smart city infrastructure within our Delta Smart Grid Network™.