Data Governance Helps Utilities Make Crucial Decisions Quickly and Avoid Costly Errors

Data that is accurate, timely, and complete is required for utilities to make operational decisions, plan for capital expenditures, and respond to incidents. Without good data practices, poor decisions and costly errors can occur. Data governance programs help utilities manage, utilize, and secure their data, ensuring decision makers have the most up to date and accurate data.

With that in mind, a data governance program is an obvious piece every utility should have in place. However, data governance programs can be a challenge to implement, due to resistance of changing workflows or a lack of process planning.

No matter where you are in the process, review, or implementation, EN Engineering can help, and clients often appreciate our unique approach to such a challenging process.

Steve Bonifas, manager of business development, explained, “Our services are based on our understanding of their operation and their business. We’re not data people telling them how to manage data. We’re people who understand what they do for business and what their job is.”

The Benefits

A solid data governance program effectively establishes internal policies and processes to protect data integrity, availability, and usability. This includes a governing body, a defined set of standards, and a plan to implement and maintain the new data procedures throughout your organization.

With well-executed data governance, you can avoid the headaches that go along with inconsistent data because it standardizes definitions and increases accuracy across diverse platforms and teams. Even more, it will increase security and ensure compliance with internal and external data regulations while providing decision-makers with reliable information.

The Challenges

The amount of data used by utilities has increased exponentially over the last few years and comes from various areas such as AMI/MDM, distribution SCADA, field data collection automation, and public data (weather, public imagery, demographics, and population change projections).

There are many distinct challenges to implementing effective data governance. These include cultural resistance, data ownership, data standards and quality, efficiency and cost, and security.

For instance, some people within your organization may find changes stressful and not see the value of changing the process. Others may not agree on who is responsible for data. There can also be inconsistent workflow practices and concerns about personnel and budget.

Results Driven

For our clients, the results are worth going through the process it takes to get there.

As an example, one EN client requested a detailed records risk analysis. This analyzed the risk associated with paper records pertaining to gas assets housed at the client’s field offices.

As a part of the project, EN surveyed designated managers and supervisors representing each field office to inventory the records housed at each office, documenting the format, volume, and asset class of paper records.

Our team then analyzed the survey results, evaluating the volume and format of the records with relation to the P90 asset risk scores within the service territory of each office.

The analysis allowed the client to strategically prioritize the digitization of records based on the risk of the assets and the potential impact of the records. Based on the analysis, top-scoring offices were not necessarily the locations housing the most records.

Another client asked for a data priority ranking analysis for the data components within their system. This client was engaged in a data improvement initiative to strategically evaluate data enhancement projects to expand the volume, reliability, and accuracy of the information contained within their enterprise data systems.

This project reviewed previously created data value ranking lists, updated the parameters of existing components, and expanded the data priorities in response to changing business drivers. EN analyzed and evaluated each data component’s criticality, format, coverage, and reliability to produce a final ranking score.

Our Services

We offer a wide range of services that will support your data governance efforts, no matter where you are within the process, including a needs analysis and recommendations. Our team can help you collaborate with all stakeholders, draft policies, and coordinate workshops so everyone is on board and has an opportunity to contribute. We can also help create, review, and test new workflows within your organization as part of this process.

EN has the experience, operational expertise, and business acumen needed to understand your organization while using best practices to implement your data governance program with a flexibility you will appreciate.

For more information, contact Steve Bonifas at

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