Decision making on network investments is crucial. But how to do it wisely? Smart asset management uses automation and integration to gather all the data you need into a single hub. And I happen to know someone who masters it down to the core.
“Often utilities have a lot of data...everything is there, but you’re not able to utilize it to the fullest,” Jussi explains, speaking from his experiences: “A utility can have like five different systems where the different parts of the organization store data, and then they manually collect that into one place. So there is a gap between the data production and the decision making process.”
Interview: Optimizing Your Asset Investments
The automation, using integrations, turns the investment management tool into a decision making hub that utilizes data from different sources. The sources are connected to one another with interfaces so that one person only has to use one system. “For example, the planners just design the network, and as a part of that, they calculate its costs, and that's all they have to do,” Jussi lays out. The investment planners, then, can easily use the data gathered into the hub in their decision making to prioritize the projects and to choose the best ones to be carried out.
“When your investment plans and decisions are connected to your network asset information, you can utilize it in so many different ways. For example, if you have planned for renovations in your network, like you're going to demolish an overhead line, say, in two years, you need your system to know that there's no point in going out to inspect their condition. In that case, you can only do maybe the most critical repairs, if those are needed, but skip the unnecessary maintenance inspections, which saves you money.”
And it doesn’t stop there. Jussi continues: “You can find out almost anything that you want to know about your assets. You can use different analytics tools to create visualizations, or make reliability or power system analyses to enrich the data used for investment decisions."
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
There are also great benefits in how the automation allows the utilities to monitor their entire asset investment portfolio, as a whole. Too often, the manual work forces the decision makers to concentrate on the bigger projects. The smaller ones are done on the side, and the big picture isn’t clear. “But when your network investment management is holistic, you have everything there – from the largest renovation project to even the smallest new connection – so that you really know what your overall situation is,” Jussi describes, wrapping it up: “I think it's an awesome way to combine all your data.”
What’s awesome, too, is that Jussi has much more to say. Make sure you don’t miss it – subscribe to our blog!
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A Trimblean for 10+ years with a never-ending hunger for knowledge from a less technical viewpoint to the most technical of matters.