How Utilities Can Use Data to Streamline Compliance

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Improve efficiency and reduce costs through better data management

As the digital transformation of the water utility sector continues to gather pace, there is a growing emphasis on data-driven decision making. Specialized online applications are helping water utilities to make better use of their data. 

By gathering monitoring data in real-time, program managers can enhance day to day operations, regulatory compliance, and cost reduction. Practical data analysis has been proven to drive down operational costs, make processes more efficient, and to enhance existing systems. 

Utilities are also attempting to harness their data by giving testers remote access to upload digital reports directly to the cities database for review. 

Getting a comprehensive view of your data 

Water managers often struggle to integrate multiple data streams from throughout their compliance network. The sheer amount of data can be overwhelming and is impossible for utilities using the traditional processes. 

It is not hard to see how water utilities often only have time to process 40% of the data they gather, leaving valuable information unused. Over 50% don’t have an active data management strategy, while nearly 60% fail to analyze their customer data at all. 

With concerns over current and future regulatory compliance ranking high in top issues impacting the water industry, innovative water utilities are trying to streamline processes and develop new efficiencies. In order to achieve this, water utilities are using online applications that unite their team data and process in one place.   

Using data to improve compliance

Until recently, cash strapped water utilities struggled to balance their time and resources effectively. More advanced data analytics is helping utilities overcome many legacy issues by segmenting customers in advanced reports and dashboards. This method allows teams to understand and see patterns quickly.  

Effectively implementing your data analytics strategy can quickly open up new business avenues and give you the ability to provide individualized services for each customer. Not only improving customer relationships but program performance. 

Use case

The City of Houston deployed a system that allowed their testers to upload test reports directly to the city database. The new system quickly improved the reliability and accuracy of their data and saw compliance increase dramatically. The city was able to increase revenue by introducing a convenience fee for each test report uploaded to the system. They were also able to free up a massive amount of resources to focus on streamlining their program. 

In conclusion

As regulatory requirements become more complex, water utilities are being asked to deliver compliance while making cost-effective decisions that ensure reliable operations. Advancing how you collect, manage and analyze data can help you achieve these incongruent goals.

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