The Power of Data-Driven Decisions — an Energy Case Study

September 24, 2019
3 min read
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With operations in over 34 countries, 70,000 people employed and power plants dotted around the world, Enel is a leading energy provider that caters to tens of millions of households worldwide.

That comes with some challenges — particularly in terms of the data generated and the efficiency of decision-making — for the Enel teams working in different time zones and often speaking different languages.

As part of their digitalization strategy, Enel decided to leverage technology to allow their leadership team and operational staff at their Global Thermal Generation Division (TGX) access to real-time data on energy plants in various locations around the world.

The ability to monitor the plants’ generation capacity, temperature and maintenance levels, among other things, “would have involved a complex search on a desktop computer”, reads an Enel press release.

The energy giant wanted to provide employees with a more efficient way of organizing and analyzing data on its TGX plants, as well as with an easy-to-use tool that would allow real-time access to data, including while on the go.

“In a company as large as Enel”, continues the press release, “which gathers enormous amounts of data, on average 80% of our time is spent finding information, validating it and analyzing it”. This leaves very little time to look for connections between data, and convert them into actual decisions.

Enters Crystal.

While scouting for new technologies, Enel decided that crystal, our AI advisor for data intelligence, was a match.

An award-winning match for that matter: crystal for Enel scooped up the 2018 innovation award at Italian technology fair, smau. Here’s how crystal helped Enel solve some of its data-related challenges.

All for one, one for all

First and foremost, crystal was able to connect to all of Enel’s TGX data sources, bringing all data to one place, as opposed to various worksheets and databases on employees’ desktop computers. This is particularly significant when plants — and teams — are spread around the world.

Let’s talk data

The most distinctive transformation brought by crystal to the way Enel employees interact with their data is the ability to do so using their voice, as opposed to a keyboard, monitor, and probably endless spreadsheets.

Enel employees can now ask crystal questions about the current or forecasted status of one or more energy plants, and receive instant answers with real-time data via voice or easy-to-interpret data visualizations.

Accessibility and data democratization are key here: crystal basically opens access to data to all Enel employees who need it — whether leadership at head office or power plants’ maintenance teams on site — regardless of their level of data literacy. In other words, they don’t need to be trained analysts to get the answers they need in order to make better decisions.

Code: mobility

The ability for Enel’s employees to access crystal via a mobile application on their smartphone, wherever they are, is another important change.

crystal’s application is available in six languages, making it easier for teams in various parts of the world to access the data they need, and make relevant decisions on the basis of it.

Ultimately, as Enel’s press release points out, crystal leaves “staff more time for decision-making — an activity that cannot be delegated to artificial intelligence and needs to be made by humans”.

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