UKPN Becoming a Datacentric Utility

UK Power Networks is a distribution network operator for electricity covering South East England, the East of England and London. It manages three licensed distribution networks which together cover an area of 30000 square kilometres and approximately eight million customers

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The challenge

UKPN had an aim of become a data-centric utility where data was treated as an asset. Whilst many in the business acknowledged the importance of data, there was no consistent view of how to create a true data culture. Improving data governance and data management would provide a way to understand and manage business risk, unlocking the value in data assets and enabling innovation.

How we did it

By engaging over 40 senior and executive team members to ascertain their understanding of data governance and management. Data was requested and reviewed to assess the quality of existing documentation and subsequent deep dives were completed to understand how data was viewed and the impact this had on the business.

Our 4-point approach to creating a sustainable data culture

We demonstrated the business case to assign suitable accountability for overall data at the highest level.

Recommendation to create an office of the chief data officer with the appropriate power to lead and influence the board.

Building of a plan to launch key data management enabling projects to provide data governance and data management specific tools to support the adoption of better data company wide.

Reducing risk within the project portfolio by assuring the most critical active projects.

Results

  • The delivery of a strategic road map to improve the overall ‘data maturity’ across UKPN.
  • A clear approach to engaging the whole organisation was produced.
  • A high-level investment case delivered.
  • The creation of a set of Project Information Documents.
  • New roles defined with job descriptions and accountabilities provided.
  • Opportunities for quick win projects discovered, starting small and proving value.

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