The requirements of our network are changing, driven by customers’ needs, decentralisation of generation now connected throughout our network and decarbonisation focussed on the increasing transition of the transport and heat sectors to electricity.
We are committed to digitalising our business to ensure that we remain an efficient and effective operator of our network and deliver data and solutions in the right format, at the right time to customers and stakeholders to meet their needs and ambitions.
Our focus to improve our data management, increase network insight and operation and to presume data as open will ensure that we deliver these aims to further improve our business efficiency, turn our data in to information to benefit customers, deliver insight for network capacity and connection planning and new service propositions.
We understand improving our data management is a journey that we need to track and measure to ensure we continue to focus in the right areas. We have already demonstrated improvements in our data management processes through targeted project activity to understand our data sets, lineage (how our data is derived and where from), and business and third-party use.
Leveraging value from data is fundamental to becoming a digitalised business. Innovation projects we have delivered have developed new solutions capable of providing enhanced visibility of our network, what it’s doing and what it’s likely to do. These solutions, together with advanced control systems, are being rolled out across our regions.
We continue to add both raw datasets and user-friendly tools, in the form of interactive maps and systems to our Connected Data Portal. We understand that access to our data is vital to support a variety of current and future elements of the electricity and wider energy system. We also recognise that the needs of different customers and stakeholders are varied and data may need to be presented in different formats.
Moving from a legacy analogue system to a modern, digitalised energy system, is a critical step in enabling the UK’s transition to net zero carbon emissions while keeping the lights on for customers. The availability and utilisation of good quality and accessible data is key. This means providing increased access to the right data at the right time within our organisation and through open access to our customers and interested stakeholders.
Decarbonisation and decentralisation are leading to unprecedented changes in the way customers use and generate energy. We operate the network for our customers, so it is essential we respond to their changing use of the network and adapt our operations to continue to deliver excellent customer service, reliability, and value for money.
We have set out our roadmap as part of our digitalisation strategy; describing how we plan to continue our digitalisation journey and deliver new and improved solutions and data access internally and externally for our customers and stakeholders.
We know that understanding our data users is key to delivering the right data and digitalised solutions and outcomes. To support this we’ve built upon our current data user types and have now developed some initial Beta User Personas to support further improving our understanding of data users’ needs and expectations. We will continue to seek engagement to inform reviews and updates as well as further expanding our User Personas to users not currently captured.
We always welcome direct engagement and feedback via firstname.lastname@example.org on these or any of our data and digitalisation work and we currently have a survey open to provide your feedback specifically on our External User Personas.
Digitalisation and data is key to ensuring the continued efficient and effective operation of the system and will impact and involve all parts of the organisation. To ensure that our Digitalisation Strategy is delivered effectively and co-ordinated with other company strategies we have implemented our Digitalisation & Data Governance Group, chaired by our Operations Director.
The Connected Data Portal has been created to enable easy access to all of the existing data that WPD currently share with the industry, regulator and the customer.
Flexible Power has been created by WPD to deliver the procurement of demand response services.
Our Network Strategy Team is responsible for a number of key outputs to help shape the future development of the distribution network and the role of WPD as a Distribution System Operator.