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Beyond Hype: The Evolution of the Utility Analytics Institute and Utility Analytics

Aug. 30, 2017
While buzzwords come and go, analytics is not a fad that will soon fade away

Sometimes expectations and optimism about the future exceed reality. That is not true for the Utility Analytics Institute (UAI), the new sister brand of T&D World and Energy Times. This new partnership is one of those cases where the sum of the parts is certain to be greater than the whole.

Before peeking into UAI’s future, it is helpful to know that UAI was launched in 2011 as a research and events organization. In 2012, UAI pivoted to a corporate membership model with six founding utility members. UAI’s Executive Advisory Council, working groups, online analytics content and databases, webcasts, and networking capabilities were added later. UAI membership has grown substantially, and today more than 125 operating utility companies and 17 analytics solution providers are UAI members.

Analytics is hotter than it was in 2011. The reason? The data asset holds more value-generation potential than all of a utility’s physical assets combined. While buzzwords come and go (e.g. “big data”), analytics is not a fad that will soon fade away. Instead, analytics is evolving and at an ever quickening pace. Predictive and prescriptive analytics are becoming commonplace and cognitive solutions, artificial intelligence and machine learning are emerging.

By partnering with T&D World and Energy Times, it is as though UAI has strapped on and fired booster rockets. The synergies are evident. Deep research capabilities, more channels and a broader reach, more resources – editorial, marketing, IT and event experts, and new investment characterize the “new UAI”. Optimism about the possibilities ahead for UAI and its membership is well-founded.

Many of the synergies above are being capitalized on in preparation for the UAI event known as Utility Analytics Week 2017. Utility professionals that seek to derive value from data whether from T&D operations, customer service, generation or IT and ranging from analysts to C-level executives, will benefit from the analytics content and best practices shared and the networking opportunities offered. This sixth annual event is scheduled for Nov. 1-3, and will be held at the beautiful La Cantera Resort & Spa in San Antonio, Texas. CPS Energy is the event’s host utility. Event highlights include:

  • Host utility keynote address by Paula Gold-Williams, President and CEO of CPS Energy
  • “Utilizing Data to Drive Personalized Engagement”; Speaker: Chris Cardenas, Vice President of Customer Service, PPL
  • “Applying Machine Learning to Improve Equipment Reliability”; Speaker: Ann Orr, Director, IT Management Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, Arizona Public Service
  • “Enterprise Analytics Journey – A Truly Enterprise Approach”; Speaker: Raiford Smith, Vice President, Entergy Technology and Analytics, Entergy
  • “Distribution Facility Power Flow & Grid Analytics”; Speaker: Hagen Haentsch, Director, Distribution Operating Center West, Oncor Electric Delivery; Speaker: Tom Martin, Manager, Grid of Things, PG&E

The evolution of analytics demands new skillsets, new processes, new organizational models, new technologies and a new culture. It is hard to keep pace. Analytics best practices, common pitfalls and the latest analytics solutions will be shared at Utility Analytics Week 2017. It is quite simply the best forum to stay up-to-date, connect with other utility analytics champions, and learn about innovative ways to leverage the data asset.    

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