Three utility use cases show the value of analytics


Utility Power LinesWhen 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.


About Author

David Pope

Technical Leader, Senior Manager US Energy

David leads the pre-sales technical team for SAS US Energy which solves business problems in the Oil & Gas and Utilities industries using advanced analytics. He is a lifetime learner who enjoys sharing information and helping others to grow their careers. He earned a BS in Industry Engineering and a Computer Programming Certificate from North Carolina State University. Furthermore, he has over 29 years of business experience working with SAS across R&D, IT, Sales and Marketing in the Americas and Europe. He is an expert in working with data and producing insights through the use of analytics. David has presented at SAS Global Forum, the 2012 SAS Government Leadership Summit, IBM’s Information on Demand(IOD), EMC World, CTO Summit Conferences, is the author of the book: "Big Data Analytics with SAS", and he currently holds 14 patents for SAS in several countries: US, CA, Norway, UK, China, Mexico, and Hong Kong.


  1. It was lovely to see you David at SASGF for a "beary" brief encounter!

    I was touched by the SAS Technology Connection session segment where Jared Peterson shared his personal experience in having a minor stroke and how it inspired him to further analyze biomedical image processing using SAS Viya.

    You can watch the segment in the SASGF 2018 on-demand video collection at

    • David Pope

      Likewise it was nice to finally meet you in person and thank you for reading, commenting on, and sharing my blog posts.
      Have a nice weekend,

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