Amazon couldn’t have coined a happier name for its centralized data repository than Data Lake as far as the water industry is concerned.
As everyone knows, water and electricity don’t mix, and nor do oil and water, so perhaps uptake by other utilities will be more limited.
We wrote recently about the need to add 2 layers to the 5 that SWAN previously dreamt up.
This article by Unitywater’s Head of Technology and Digital Solutions Gavin Kelly, in which he sets out his grand vision for digital transformation on the company’s website, strongly reinforces the value of these two additional layers.
Gavin tops and tails the piece with “delivers value to our business and customers” and “ultimately benefit Unitywater and its customers”, noting in the middle that “we need to document the outcomes we are expecting to be delivered, supported by business requirements”.
He emphasises that “we need to work out how we are going to use [the technology]”; it isn’t enough just to install it. The implications for people and processes are repeatedly emphasised: “leverage data to make informed decisions and enable outcomes” and “How will it impact staff; how will it change their roles and what training will they need?”, “Business Intelligence team” and “every project has a change and communications plan that all stakeholders agree on”.
The data fusion and analysis layers get mentioned too of course: “extract rich data from multiple sources” and “advanced analytics to drive actions and decisions”.
The data will be derived from “sensor technologies” which Unitywater has been busy trialling.
As suppliers to the industry, we should be led by our clients’ needs and aspirations, not our own grand visions.