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Leveraging Data to Create a Paradigm Shift from Reactive to Proactive Utility Management Chuck Scholpp Director, Integrated Information Management Hach Company Brent Fewell VP, Environmental Compliance United Water. Words of Wisdom.

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Leveraging Data to Create a Paradigm Shift from Reactive to Proactive Utility Management

Chuck Scholpp

Director, Integrated Information Management

Hach Company

Brent Fewell

VP, Environmental Compliance

United Water

Words of wisdom
Words of Wisdom

“The goal is to transform data into information and information into insight”

- Carley Fiorina, Former CEO, Hewlett-Packard

Data what is it
DATA… what is it?

  • Individual facts, terms, numbers

  • It is meaningless without CONTEXT

  • Requires CONTEXT for conversion

Context what is it
CONTEXT… what is it?

  • Drawing data from various sources provides context

  • Includes “data about data” (metadata)

  • Context provides meaning to data

  • Appropriate metrics help convert data into information

    • Calculations

    • Charts

    • Statistical Analysis

    • Summary Reports

Change paradigms
Change Paradigms!

  • Management Programs with Proven Track Records

    • Lean Water Operations

    • Six Sigma

    • ISO14001

    • Effective Utility Management

  • Focus workforce on analyzing and acting on data; not on collecting it

  • Remove barriers that hinder paradigm shifts and hide waste

  • Definition of Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different resultsAlbert Einstein

    How is Your Utility Changing Paradigms?

    Paradigm shift barriers
    Paradigm Shift Barriers

    • Lack clear goals, metrics, and visual management

    • Lack Effective Utility Management training & experience

    • Staff too busy gathering data to have time to analyze it

    • Lack of secure, easily accessible, long term storage (ie. data stored in Excel vs. database)

    • Perspective that auditors will not allow electronic records

    With changing workforce, experience-driven approaches must morph into data-driven approaches

    How is Your Utility Removing Barriers?

    Examples of waste at utilities
    Examples of Waste at Utilities

    • Transportation – Manual (vs. electronic) transfer of data; travel to view, collect, verify, validate, and troubleshoot; snail mail

  • Inventory– Sample backlog; excess consumables & instruments; unnecessary capital; maintenance; and energy expenditures; excess people due to inefficiencies

  • Motion– handwritten logs; computer entry; typing onto forms; printing and copying

  • Waiting – waiting on samples, analysis results, data approvals, reports, and guidance

  • Over-Processing – data touched many times; more QC than necessary; data transformed many times without adding value; reports with duplicate information

  • Over-Production- excessive sampling and analysis for process control and regulatory reporting; mistrust readings; non-optimized production (chemical costs, energy, water)

  • Defects– transcription; missing data; invalid samples; wrong calculations; instrumentation not calibrated and/or maintained properly; fines

  • Unused Creativity– lack of understanding of how existing data could be leveraged; data is not being shared with interested stakeholders; no time for thinking – only doing

  • How Could e-Records Help Eliminate Waste?

    New proactive paradigm
    New Proactive Paradigm

    • Less Data Gathering: Spend less time gathering and more time analyzing and acting

    • More Data Use: Process mapping, data mining, statistics. Apply focus where it belongs:

      • Customer service

      • Training and tools for utilities

      • Transparency and public outreach

      • Funding for infrastructure, storm water, nutrients, etc.

    • Better Reporting: Use dashboards, KPIs and reports to achieve sustainability, prevent future issues from occurring, and meet federal regulations

    • Lean Culture: Culture that embraces metrics, data, and cross-functional problem solving to drive results

    How Can You Enable a New Proactive Paradigm?

    United water case study
    United Water: Case Study

    United Water’s Mission:We provide innovative water and waste management solutions that improve the quality of life in the communities we serve

    • America’s water challenge:

    • EPA estimates TRILLION-PLUS dollars required over the next 20 years to restore the country’s crumbling water systems

    • EPA lists 89 contaminants that could affect people’s health

    • American Society of Civil Engineers gives US water infrastructure a “D” grade

    • Unprecedented issues: extreme weather, new contaminants

    We believe America’s future will be defined by its ability to maintain clean, sustainable water supplies

    United water expertise
    United Water expertise

    • Providing Water and Wastewater services for more than140 years

    • In addition to owning and operating 20 water utilities, we operate 100 municipal and industrial water and wastewater systems, serving 5.7 million people in the US

    • Facility sizes vary from very small to some of the largest in the world

    Meeting America’s water challenge will require expertise developed from experience and innovative solutions

    From united water s perspective data management is critical
    From United Water’s perspective, data management is critical

    • Risks for inaccuracy

      • Environmental or public health impact

      • Reputation – critical for all current and future contracts

      • Fines / regulator scrutiny

      • Citizen complaints

      • Inefficient operations = higher costs

    • Compliance is critical to business success

      • Trust of communities and municipalities

      • Strong, productive relations with regulators

      • Maintaining compliance with ISO standards

    Top Down Directive to Improve Data Management

    United water s previous data management situation
    United Water’s previous solutionsdata management situation

    • Waste: Manual data entry into spreadsheets

    • Waste: Time spent inputting data for reporting

    • Waste: Managers/auditors couldn’t use the data

    Data was gathered but not converted into actionable information

    Our change objectives
    Our change objectives solutions

    • 1. Increase Efficiency

      • Automatic data inputs

      • One central location for data storage

      • Data consistency across entire organization

      • Manage unique data requirements

  • 2. Increase Confidence in Data

    • Ensure data accuracy

    • Provide accurate compliance reporting

    • Anticipate compliance issues before they occur

  • 3. Reduce Costs

  • Enable “Lean Water” Operations

    We created lean operations
    We created “Lean Operations” solutions

    • Took Holistic Approach: Networked, centralized database

    • Automated Manual Processes: e-interfaces and electronic entry forms

    • Ensured Data Accuracy: Auto incoming data checks and audit trails

    • Turned Data into Information: Graphing, statistics, alerting & reporting

    • Achieved Sustainability: Dashboards highlighting key information

    Implemented Networked Data Mgmt Solution

    Results objective 1 increase efficiency
    Results solutions – Objective 1: Increase Efficiency

    • Achieved data consistency with common database

    • Provided easy access to accurate, organized data

    • Provided tools to monitor sustainable improvements

    Freed Up Time for More Value-Added Work

    Results solutions – Objective 1: Increase Efficiency

    Dashboards provide transparency and focus

    Division Compliance Report

    Reference Documents Dashboard

    Changed Focus from Data Collection to Analysis

    Results objective 2 confidence in data
    Results solutions – Objective 2: Confidence in Data

    • Improved incoming data accuracy

    • Improved report timeliness and accuracy

    • One source of truth

    Enabled Data Driven “Lean” Culture

    Results solutions– Objective 2: Confidence in Data

    NPDES report easily generated with data


    Enterprise-wide data is organized and accessible

    Data turned to meaningful


    Enabled Easy Visual Management

    Results objective 3 reduce costs
    Results solutions– Objective 3: Reduce Costs

    • Savings in excess of 6 figures

  • Took advantage of time freed from data collection

  • Improved process for cost analysis and budgeting

  • Progress made at managerial and operational levels is significant and continues to advance

    With smarter water we can better serve clients meet america s water challenge
    With ‘smarter’ water we can better serve clients, meet America’s water challenge

    Data without meaning

    Innovative solutions

    Contact information
    Contact Information America’s water challenge

    Chuck Scholpp

    Director, Integrated Information Management BU

    w.970.663.1377 ext 2547 | c.970.443.1637

    Hach Company

    [email protected]

    Brent Fewell

    VP, Environmental Compliance


    United Water

    [email protected]

    Download a white paper on Lean Water Operations and learn more about Hach WIMS™ by visiting: www.hachwims.com