Six Insights for Finding Value in Advanced Metering Infrastructure Data

In an article for Smart Grid Northwest, Navigant explains how utilities can sort through large amounts of data to find operational insights

As advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) rolls out across North America, utilities are becoming inundated with data — and faced with the question of what to do with it.

In an article for Smart Grid Northwest, Erik Gilbert, director at Navigant, shared six tips to help utilities glean operational insights from large amounts of AMI data.

Gilbert compiled the tips from a panel session held at the GridFWD 2018 conference, where industry experts shared their experiences with AMI data, as well as the benefits it can provide, including reduced service interruptions, more accurate billing, and cost savings from manual meter reads and avoided truck rolls.

For utilities looking to benefit from their rapidly growing AMI databases, Gilbert suggests:

  1. Working with the ultimate user of the data analysis to understand what is valuable and actionable.
  2. Thinking in terms of a hierarchy of use cases that consider diagnostic analytics, customer-focused insights, and predictive insights.
  3. Considering whether data resolution may be a gating factor. Utilities are still trying to figure out if 15-minute data is the real goal, or if higher-resolution data is worth the cost and effort.
  4. Remembering that business cases improve as metering technology improves. Some earlier meter hardware and systems have limited functionality, which limits what you can do with the data.
  5. Consider a combination of edge and centralized capabilities. AMI vendors are now incorporating much more processing power in the meters themselves, and in other edge devices.
  6. Going with simplest way to achieve value. For example, getting data on what phase meters are on helps validate connectivity model is of immense value.

"The utilities on the panel agreed there are still many unknowns about where the biggest value lies in AMI data," Gilbert said. "But, operational benefits are already being broadly gained, and many use-cases show promise for additional grid efficiency."

Read the Full Smart Grid Northwest Article

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