Top 4 Benefits of Predictive Analytics for Utilities

Predictive asset analytics in the utility industry is living proof of the adage: forewarned is forearmed. It has been a hot topic in the industry for some time now, and with good reason: predictive asset analytics provides utilities with unparalleled insights into their equipment and fixtures.

When severe weather is on its way, knowing the condition of your equipment and fixtures can help you determine where best to allocate your resources. That is why Storm Impact Analytics uses a combination of weather and non-weather intelligence to give you the most accurate information possible. So make confident decisions and know not only when and where the storm will hit but what it means for your grid.

When used correctly, predictive asset analytics can help reduce maintenance costs and improve customer satisfaction. This blog post will discuss predictive analytics’ top four benefits to utilities.

First, let’s answer the question, what is predictive asset analytics?


What is predictive asset analytics?

Predictive asset analytics for utilities is a tool used to support preventative maintenance. Basically, it can help you predict when machines may fail or need care before they do.

Most utilities are facing the challenge of aging infrastructure. With budgets stretched, you need to keep your equipment and fixtures working as long as possible. Additionally, power outages caused by weather events or failing infrastructure are costly, costing the economy billions of dollars each year.

Keeping your preventative maintenance schedule dialed in as close as possible to your actual needs ensures that your equipment is in top shape before an issue arises.

Let’s specifically look at four areas where predictive asset analytics can benefit your utility. We will also consider what other types of analytics are needed in the event of severe weather. 

Utility truck driving

Improved customer satisfaction

We have noted before that today’s consumer has no patience for lengthy power outages. In fact, predictive analytics can help you stay a step ahead of customers’ expectations and avoid unnecessary outages.

By monitoring your predictive analytics data, you can see impending problems on the horizon before they happen – giving you ample time to have any necessary repairs scheduled or completed before an outage occurs.

Predicting failures can also save millions in many other areas than just actual repairs. For example, when people feel that their service is reliable and responsive to issues, they are more likely to engage with your utility company instead of taking their business elsewhere. This engagement improves customer satisfaction which in turn bolsters your company’s reputation.


Reduced asset maintenance costs 

Prevention is the best medicine, or in this case, the best repair to make. We have often seen that significant expenses are avoided because of repairs to minor issues. However, left alone, even the slightest maintenance need has the potential to grow into a costly problem.

However, the infrastructure for your grid spans across your service territory. It can be quite overwhelming and time-consuming to track the needs of different types of equipment. Operational intelligence for utility companies provides predictive and proactive maintenance scheduling.


Improved safety & compliance system

It is critical to keep your company compliant with various safety, environmental, and financial regulations. In addition, an accurate predictive system allows you to predict when equipment will need replacement or repair before it becomes a problem, saving time on the back-end of processing paperwork after a significant repair is required.

As well, faulty equipment is unsafe for your staff and your customers. With predictive analytics, you can ensure the safety of your equipment and handle any issues before they become significant issues.


Optimization of field forces

Your resources are finite, and you may find yourself with more problems than people who can fix them.

A predictive system provides information on where to focus time and efforts, which helps streamline processes within workforces across multiple locations. In addition, with predictive maintenance scheduling, companies can better assess resource needs.

Utility workers working on power pole

More is Needed

As you can see, predictive asset analytics is a must-have for any utility company. However, it solely focuses on the expected life cycle of your assets and equipment. Maintenance needs are determined by usage, not by any external factors. 

In a perfect world, that would be enough. However, you know that other external factors affect your assets, namely severe weather. 

As we have noted, extreme weather such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and blizzards have become more frequent and increasingly severe. Each year, $20 billion in damage is attributed to extreme weather events. Additionally, the damage can adversely affect your customers’ lives, causing them to suffer needlessly.

How can you determine the damage caused by severe weather on your utility’s assets? How can you gain an edge in what resources you will need after the storm? How can you face any storm with confidence?

Utility workers on the street

Operational Intelligence and Your Utility

Simply put, the answer lies in operational intelligence. 

You must combine many types of data to understand such a complex system accurately. This type of complete look at your assets will help you determine risks unique to your own utility company.

It’s also necessary to look at your unique utility. Asset management is not a one-size-fits-all solution. You need one that is specifically designed for your system. You need one that factors your unique geographical location, the associated weather risks for that area, your vegetation management, and your individual assets.  

Not only do you need comprehensive operational data and weather intelligence, but you also need insights into that data. You need to have the facts and for the facts to be transformed into actionable information. 

It is crucial to take a data-driven approach when it comes time to managing utilities as there are so many moving parts. With Storm Impact Analytics, you can have the weather intelligence you need to take predictive measures before a storm comes.

Predictive analytics are just the beginning when it comes to mapping your utility’s assets for optimal life cycle management. Operational intelligence provides a complete picture.

Find out how seeing and understanding the complete picture will make a difference for your utility with Storm Impact Analytics!