Thomas Edison did not invent the lightbulb, but he did define it.

Years after its invention, Edison competed with rival entrepreneurs and inventors to devise a new process to handle the power of electricity.

Over 100 years later, New Zealand’s Counties Power needed a new process to handle the power of its electricity meter data.

Counties Power worker working on a power line employee who worked on the project

The company is one the fastest-growing electricity distributors in the country: servicing over 43,000 homes, farms and businesses between south Auckland and north Waikato.

But with more than 10 million rows of data to analyse daily, the company needed its own ‘lightbulb’ moment.

Counties Power’s data is produced through its own 38,000 advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) ‘smart meters’. An innovative invention itself, it allows Counties Power to accurately monitor its network in real-time and manage faults, while providing regular consumption data for each connection point on its network.

Hidden in the terabytes of data, the company knew there was going to be insight into how it can add further value to the services it provides to its customers.

However, with so much data, Counties Power needed assistance to get started, and visualise and analyse it.

Google Cloud recommended Datacom to Counties Power due to our industry experience with data and analytics.

After speaking with the electricity distribution company, and suggesting an Agile process, we brought together members of different teams to produce a creative spark.

During a two-week Google Cloud Data and Analytics workshop, staff from Counties Power’s finance and IT teams worked together to brainstorm different ways to process the data.

By including members of different teams who were new to the project, teams were able to work as equals resulting in fresh ideas, out-of-the-box thinking and unique insights. This all helped Counties Power to see their issue in a new light.

Counties Power identified not only a new way to analyse its data, but also a potential way to handle all its business in the future.

We also worked together to create a revenue assurance tool using Google Cloud’s Data and Analytics tools to process and analyse billions of meter transactions quick as a flash.

 

“Datacom’s innovative work and technical capability, especially as part of hackathons, really attracted us to working with them. Recommended by Google, Datacom were passionate and enthusiastic when problem-solving, and they encouraged us to embrace and think differently about data and technology."

Sarah Ellisdon, CIO, Counties Power.

 

Counties Power can gain more insights than ever before using its data. Using the new revenue assurance tool, the company can use the in-depth data to quickly and effectively visualise the information, and identify anomalies in the data, helping it to work better with power consumers and retailers. The company also gained confidence to further use new technology, such as the cloud, to analyse its data and move the business forward.

The success of the Agile process has reinvented how Counties Power thinks about large sets of data, and its present and future projects.

Like Edison discovered, the power of process has defined the power of electricity.

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