»We can now retrieve important insights from our raw data in no time flat. Working with InfoZoom is truly a pleasure.«
Director of Regulation Management at Stadtwerke Niebüll
Founded in 1906, Stadtwerke Niebüll is the municipal energy provider for the city of Niebüll in Northern Germany. The company, which works in close cooperation with other municipal utilities companies, provides 37 million KW of electricity annually to over 5,100 customer meters within its 3,062 hector service area. The public utilities provider also provides natural gas and heating for the city of Niebüll.
Fast, reliable analysis of all measurement and invoice data
In the power industry, even regional providers process large volumes of raw data. With InfoZoom, Stadtwerke Niebüll has found a smart way to ensure effective quality controls and quickly analyze operational data – without large investments or long implementation times.
Installation and access to operational systems in under five minutes
Joachim Bock, Director of Regulation Management at Stadtwerke Niebüll, recalls his reaction when he first saw InfoZoom live in action:
»I didn’t think that an analysis tool like that even existed. My first impression was ‘That’s exactly what I wanted.«
Joachim Bock started using InfoZoom directly on his business data. Within five minutes, the expert for regulatory issues had installed InfoZoom on his PC and imported operational data from Wilken NTS.billing, an industry ERP billing solution based on Microsoft Dynamics NAV, with a click of a mouse. Since InfoZoom connected to the solution’s standard interface during the installation process, he can now instantly export all available data without any programming. Without any prior knowledge of the software, Bock could intuitively begin analyzing his data – an impressive fast start.
Analyses at a mouse click – instead of days
Thanks to InfoZoom, the public utilities company can now analyze the overall performance of its photovoltaic facilities as well as yearly changes in supply. In the background, the software extracts the information from Excel spreadsheets containing masses of individual data records. Aggregating and examining this data from different angles would have been a very time-consuming, error-prone process in Excel. In fact, some of the analyses were even impossible due to the sheer number of records alone.
»My first impression of InfoZoom was:
That’s exactly what I wanted.«
The limited number of rows was also one of the reasons why InfoZoom replaced spreadsheets in other departments of the company as well. With a simply mouse click, business users can now aggregate 32,000 data records containing real load profiles, which are captured in fifteen-minute intervals, into monthly or quarterly totals.
Flexible usage for analyzing measurement data, controlling metering points and creating annual reports
Stadtwerke Niebüll has deployed InfoZoom for various activities throughout the company. Users can now import over 800 previously “unreadable” data records from the notification archive of a biogas compressor station and evaluate the measured data as part of a targeted error analysis. Since users can now group the different error types, they can instantly see which problems have occurred in which context or time period – and, therefore, identify and resolve them in a timely manner.
Thanks to InfoZoom, the company can also control meter points on a daily basis to ensure unique pointer identifications. Users, for example, can now examine 17,800 exported data records from the NTS.Billing meter tables to verify that exactly one meter point is allocated to each meter. They can then use InfoZoom to export these reports to Excel and pass on this information to their colleagues who are responsible for these meters.
Stadtwerke Niebüll also uses the analysis tool to help compile accurate usage and billing statistics for its annual report. InfoZoom supports this process by validating the meter readings and, therefore, the total annual consumption of its customers.
Joachim Bock was particularly impressed with the software’s consistent performance despite the overall volume of the underlying data:
»It doesn’t matter if we import 400, 40,000 or 400,000 data records into InfoZoom – the processing speed is always the same and we can access this information at the click of a mouse.«
Company shortens reorganization projects by four weeks
The energy sector is highly dynamic and regulated market. Both energy providers and their IT landscapes need to react flexibly to changing requirements. Using InfoZoom, Stadtwerke Niebüll can now implement reorganization projects, which generally take place once a year, much faster than in the past. The company, for example, can now instantly pinpoint errors in its data resulting from changes to the system. And due to the analysis tool’s unparalleled flexibility, users can easily install it on new IT systems and work with the software just as they had in the past or even run new types of analyses spontaneously. Joachim Bock concludes:
»Thanks to InfoZoom, we can implement reorganization projects approximately four weeks faster than in the past. In addition to saving costs, we have gained unprecedented speed and flexibility which are key to strengthening our competitive advantage in such a dynamic market like ours.«
Quality control and error analysis of measurement data.
Financial KPIs. Ad hoc analysis on large quantities of raw data from different departments.
Regional utilities provider requires flexible analysis on operational data.
Solution and benefits
After deploying the analysis tool InfoZoom directly on its Wilken NTS.billing system, Stadtwerke Niebüll can effectively evaluate data for reporting and error control activities. In addition to saving valuable time, the utilities company can now quickly react to changing market requirements.