T&D World Magazine
smart grid

Monetizing the Geospatial Information System: The Value of GIS Data Quality for Electric Utilities

This report seeks to identify data quality benefits and to inform the creation of a thorough business case for data quality improvements.

Smart grid technologies have received great fanfare and investment in the preceding decade, which have overshadowed investment in GIS data as a foundation to the smart grid. Recently, the proliferation of smart grid systems has made the centrality and importance of GIS data quality more obvious. Despite the importance of GIS data, electric utilities have not invested significantly in its improvement due to an inability to cost-justify the effort. Intuitively, better data should beget improved business process and efficiency, however a true cost-benefit analysis and business case were often difficult to substantiate the potentially significant expenditure of time and money to cleanse and improve data.

This report seeks to identify data quality benefits and to inform the creation of a thorough business case for data quality improvements. It includes a discussion of the role of GIS in the utility technology suite, common data quality issues and their sources, and quality measurement strategies. Additionally, the report discusses mitigation strategies utilizing technology and integration best practices, as well as business process to affect data quality improvement. Two surveys were performed to guide the report’s recommendations and accompanying financial model. The financial model will assist utilities to address the multitude of factors inherent to data quality investments. In addition to a utility’s assessment of monetary benefit, surveys were used to judge additional likelihood and experience with data quality investments to weight the financial model parameters....(Read more)

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