As sensor technology becomes more prevalent throughout the water utility industry, the need for software systems to make sense of this flood of data is becoming increasingly critical. Data presentment and business intelligence tools that provide new insights to improve operations may leave utility managers with a broad set of competing priorities. In addition, the adoption and implementation of these new technologies can be both expensive and disruptive to long-standing business processes.[Read more…] about Top Technology Adoption Trends in the Water Industry
Performance WaterMark: How does your utility compare?
In 2009 WaterSmart Software was born around a simple question: Can social comparisons drive an improvement in water-use efficiency? It turns out the answer to that question was decidedly YES! Over the next several years WaterSmart became a pioneer in the practice that is now broadly known as Behavioral Water Efficiency. By providing water customers with information on how their water use compares with similar households along with specific, money saving recommendations on how they can more effectively use water, utilities see an increase in water-use efficiency of up to 5%.[Read more…] about Performance WaterMark: How does your utility compare?
Lessons from 100 Water Suppliers
WaterSmart recently reached a major milestone. We signed our 100th utility partner. It’s only a number, and given that there are about 50,000 community water systems in the United States, this accomplishment is, pardon the pun, just a drop in the bucket. What is important is that the WaterSmart team has had the opportunity to learn an amazing amount from these hundred partnerships. We’ve worked with scores of utility staff and surveyed hundreds of thousands of end-use customers. What has come from all that experience and data are some pretty interesting insights.[Read more…] about Lessons from 100 Water Suppliers
Accounting for Utility Software Services
The software vendor business model has evolved rather dramatically in the past decade or so. Traditionally, utility software providers (including SCADA, customer information systems, work order management, rebate tracking, and other common solutions used by water utilities) would sell a perpetual license to their water utility customers who would then install the software on a local computer or server.[Read more…] about Accounting for Utility Software Services
Noticing Water Leaks (Fix a Leak Week)
Water leaks happen. In fact, they happen a lot. Data that WaterSmart has collected from over 4 million households indicates that as many as 50% of households will experience some type of water leak within a given year. And more than 10% of households have leaks that waste at least 90 gallons per day. In addition to the frequency that leaks occur, they can be quite expensive. The U.S. insurance industry pays out about $2.5 billion each year in homeowner insurance claims due to water damage from leaks. That’s nearly $7,000 per household which is the number two home insurance claim annually.[Read more…] about Noticing Water Leaks (Fix a Leak Week)
Water Meter Data Management – To Sink or SWIM
The role of a Meter Data Management System (MDMS) is not well defined within the water industry. Many products on the market claim to provide MDM functionality, but few people understand the value of what these systems offer. To understand how this confusion has come about and what can be done to address data management needs in the water industry, we need to first examine the evolution of the MDM.
Defining Total Customer Engagement
Total Customer engagement is an amorphous concept that is difficult to define or quantify. Depending on the nature of a given business, engagement may be described using language such as touches, opens, responses, clicks, registrations, reach, shares, influence, views, or other nebulous terms. This language leaves organizations ill-equipped to define and measure the impact and benefits of communicating with customers in a wide-range of situations.[Read more…] about Defining Total Customer Engagement
Natural Language of Water Customers Interpreted
Making Sense of Customer Feedback
As customers demand greater transparency and data immediacy from their services providers, the ability for water utilities to collect unstructured text data is growing. With modern, digital customer engagement interfaces such as web portals, mobile applications, and social networks, utilities now have a window into more nuanced interests, demands, concerns, and satisfactions expressed by their customers. But with the evolution of systems designed to capture and convey textual information comes a significant challenge: making sense of large volumes of unstructured data.