When I was in Denver for SAS Global Forum 2018, one of our customers asked me for three use cases that show strong return on investment for analytics in today's electric utility industry. Since our energy team has identified at least 125 separate use cases that show how analytics can improve results at a utility, I had to give this a bit of thought. I narrowed it down to these three, because they showcase the value of analytics by providing good results in the shortest amount of time:
1. Analytics to help detect and mitigate procurement fraud and abuse.
Our company has a new solution, SAS® for Procurement Integrity, which incorporates our world-class analytics platform and produces value right out of the box using a model based on data stored within a company's existing ERP system. Contact your SAS representative to learn how one utility has saved an estimated $60 million dollars by reducing fraud, waste, and abuse. This solution helps to provide early warnings and alerts that prevent potential revenue loss, all while improving satisfaction from regulators and the public.
2. Analytics to segment customers more effectively.
Better customer segmentation helps utilities better predict future customer disconnects. This type of analysis also allows a utility to avoid revenue loss and improve the customer experience.
3. Analytics to assist in detecting and/or avoiding non-technical losses.
The analytics needed to accomplish #2 and #3, including the necessary machine learning (ML) and data mining algorithms, are all included within the new SAS Visual Data Mining and Machine Learning (VDMML) solution. To fully implement and gain value in use case #3, you will need to pair SAS VDMML with SAS Event Stream Processing, as #3 requires real-time processing of data within the network near the meters to gain the maximum value available (the #3 use case is also a good Internet of Things (IoT) use case, not just an analytical one!).
My customer and I both learned a lot from this one conversation at SAS Global Forum. I would encourage others who attended in person or virtually to add one thing they learned in the comments below -- and start planning to attend the 2019 SAS Global Forum in Dallas, Texas April 28 – May 1.