T&D World Magazine

R. W. Beck to Help NRECA Co-Ops Better Use Software Systems Data

Plexus Research, Inc., an R. W. Beck company, was selected by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and its research arm, the Cooperative Research Network (CRN), to help distribution cooperatives transform an ever-increasing amount of data from integrated software applications into refined and actionable information to improve operations and customer service.

Plexus Research will work with CRN and member co-ops to develop specific strategies and steps to more effectively integrate and utilize data from systems such as AMI, OMS, CIS, GIS and SCADA. The result will be a strategic roadmap for the nation’s more than 900 electric cooperatives to improve their business processes and decision support in areas such as planning, operations, maintenance, customer service, engineering, rate analysis, accounting and finance.

"Distribution cooperatives have made significant investments in data-intensive systems, which provide a tsunami of information related to AMI, outage management, workforce management, geospatial and customer information,” says Marty Gordon, senior program manager at CRN. “But they often face a challenge in the inability to extract and interpret data that delivers real business value. We look to Plexus Research to help our member co-ops determine how to capture that critical information. Their team has an exceptional track record and broad knowledge of utility systems and business processes.”Plexus Research will analyze current software systems and applications used by NRECA members to make recommendations for the more effective utilization of data-intensive systems to improve customer satisfaction, staff productivity and control costs. Based on those results, Plexus Research will provide additional insight by conceiving algorithms and interfaces not currently in place, but which would be valuable to distribution cooperatives in achieving key business objectives.“Our utility clients have made it clear that transforming data into actionable knowledge and increasing the transparency of their business processes is critical to achieving a strong return on these technology investments,” says Tim Wolf, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Plexus Research. “This project will provide NRECA member cooperatives with a broadly applicable strategy and roadmap to put the data they’re collecting with these systems to better use for the benefit of their operations and customers.”

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