Companies are advancing how analytics can be used to solve problems and drive better decisions and actions. For example, being able to automatically detect what caused a network fault on the grid without having to assess it in the field is one of the many advantages of data analytics. AEP’s Data Science team is using data, analysis tools, statistics and math to tackle these issues, helping AEP succeed as a next generation energy company.
Beginning in 2016, AEP put organizational changes in place to develop internal analytics communities, where best practices are shared and promoted across AEP:
- Central Analytics Services team provides data science, data governance and architecture resources needed to develop, automate, deploy and sustain sophisticated analytical models.
- Advanced analytics teams within the business units (e.g., Customer and Grid Analytics, Transmission) enable agile identification, prioritization and execution of use cases with internal customers.
- Cross-Functional Analytics Board brings leaders together from across the enterprise to promote and prioritize analytics,
- Analytics Center of Excellence brings together data scientists from all business units to share best practices.
- Analytics Executive Advisory Board provides strategic direction and advocacy for analytics.
In addition, AEP created a new Chief Data Scientist position to provide data leadership across the company. This role will advise all data scientists across AEP, finding synergies between different departments to leverage the skills and knowledge in place and to expand upon them.
We have already scored early wins. For example, the Data Science team is using analytics to help the Telecommunications team. Employees used to manually review telephone bills to find errors. Through the use of data analytics, we identified a new automated process to help us detect more errors with less effort. Other projects include predicting meter failures so a service order can be automatically generated before the failure happens, and improving the performance of Generation assets in the PJM regulation market.
We have invested in building an analytics foundation to enable further advancement of our capabilities, with far-reaching impacts on core and strategic projects.