Today we will talk about information management - a much required capability that utilities need to carefully evaluate as they go through Smart Grid deployment.
What is Information Management? Simply put information management is not just about technology but is about managing and leveraging information.
It is about putting structure to how information is organized, how it is stored, how it is accessed and how it is delivered and used by various business units that need it. Broadly, information management has three key components - IM Organization, IM Engagement Processes and IM Tools and Methodologies. Undertaking an Information Management initiative a utility will formalize many of the tasks done by operational folks, IT support personnel and other resources.
So, why do utilities need Information Management? As utilities deploy AMI, and other related programs, they will see a surge in data that is gathered from Smart devices. With that utilities will see an increase in information needs from employees as well as from consumers. The questions that a utility needs to ask are:
- How business value is created utilizing data/information?
- Does it have management in place to provide high-quality information and reporting solutions?
- Does it have an enterprise wide data model to reconcile differences between application-specific data models?
- Do people have a common understanding of definitions across the enterprise?
- Are cross-functional needs for data access and usage addressed by the proposed architecture?
- What information quality tools and methodologies are needed to maintain data quality?
Information Management will aid in implementing an operating model to sustain information quality, data model, practices and processes associated with information organization and delivery.
Next time, we will talk about how to enable this capability and how to put this into practice as utilities deploy various Smart Grid programs.