Baseball season is upon us, and it provides a great metaphor for the utility sector. Two decades ago, baseball started making predictive data-driven decisions, and it changed the game. From research and data science company E Source, OneInform is doing the same for utilities. Similar to how sabermetrics helped Oakland A’s manager Billy Beane build a highly cost-effective team, OneInform provides a data-driven approach to value, acquire, and optimize customer resource capabilities through energy-efficiency, demand-response (DR), distributed energy resource, electric vehicle (EV), and billing and payment programs.
In 2002, the Oakland A’s adopted a new way of assigning value to baseball players that would become the basis for the movie Moneyball. The basic premise was that the individual value of every single player can be calculated, allowing a team to compare value versus cost of acquisition in order to build a team based on capabilities and cost. With all that data in hand, Beane used analytics to enhance these resources with specific lineups based on where the game was being played, which pitcher the batters were facing, and even specific situations during a game.
OneInform steps up to the plate
The goal of the clean energy game is to secure cost-effective customer resources that are as reliable as a power plant with the precision to be called at a local feeder level. The key to winning this game is to assemble a winning portfolio of programs. Your programs are your baseball players in this game. The right combination of programs will give you the capabilities to win the game in a way that’s equitable across all customer classes. Combined with E Source data science services, OneInform finds the best customers to cost-effectively achieve your goals for each program. It’s similar to knowing how every baseball player performs in every ballpark and against every pitcher to determine their value to your lineup. As in Moneyball, this approach requires utilities to challenge conventional wisdom and let the data do the talking.
Conventional wisdom in most utilities is to operate from static, purchased, predefined segments. Most get labeled with catchy names like Sensible Savers or Urban Tech. These segments have been around for decades and are useful in facilitating a culture that can empathize with customer differences. What they’re not very good at is identifying the high-value specific customers who can help you cost-effectively achieve your program goals, and showing you how to reach them in a personalized manner. Think about it: How can a customer be in the same segment for your peak-time rebate, automated thermostat demand reduction, and time-of-use program? The best customer for the peak-time rebate behavioral program will outperform the other two every time.
OneInform hits a home run
OneInform is powerful because it performs segmentation at the program level. Then artificial intelligence (AI) models crunch the predictive data and return the differentiating attributes to create cohorts of customers without human bias. We update the AI models continuously to learn from feedback from each campaign. Our data science services team applies the analytical models at the individual customer level across more than 650 residential and 350 commercial attributes based on specific program goals. We evaluate and categorize every customer for a particular program with their expected contribution toward the goal. Once we identify the best customers, we calculate their likelihood to participate in the program—information that can help you decide where to spend your customer-acquisition dollars.
This level of granularity provides a new level of precision because OneInform can map and target customer resources across the grid, down to the transformer level. And thanks to OneInform’s personalization capability, you can engage your best customers the way they want to engage. Effective data science services brings your customer data to life by highlighting the key attributes that define the customers, which informs your go-to market strategies. And after your campaign is complete, we provide feedback to the AI models so the data can keep doing the talking.
OneInform clinches the win
OneInform and our data science services are already delivering results for our utility clients. For example, using OneInform, one utility learned that 14% of its customers represented 60% of the opportunity to achieve its program’s goal. After adjusting the offering to appeal to the best customers, the once-underperforming program is now on track to meet its goals.
Another utility now calls DR events by feeder to offset irregular renewables. Yet another has predicted the adoption of EVs over time and the load impact on the grid, guiding new program development. Still another is in the process of taking a predictive data-driven approach to its small and midsize business program portfolio.
Go ahead and pop some popcorn, watch Moneyball, and get ready to use OneInform to play utility moneyball. Our data science services can help you cost-effectively deliver on the vision of a clean energy future. To learn more, visit www.oneinform.com and fill out our form to schedule a demo.