Skip to main content
Artificial IntelligenceCustomer

Accelerating Your Analytics Maturity Journey in the Utilities Sector

By March 6, 2024No Comments
Customer Centric Analytics

In an era of digital transformation reshaping industries across the globe, the utilities sector finds itself at a crucial crossroads. The transition from viewing consumers as mere “rate payers” to recognizing them as “customers” underscores a broader industry shift towards customer-centricity and data-driven decision-making. Despite the clear trajectory, utilities notably lag in adopting these modern approaches, impacting not only customer satisfaction but also operational efficiency and financial performance.

The significance of customer satisfaction in the utilities sector is paramount. Research indicates a compelling correlation: happier customers are more likely to pay their bills on time, less inclined to burden call centers, and more engaged in utility programs. High customer satisfaction ratings can significantly influence outcomes during rate-case evaluations, preventing potential public relations challenges.

Prioritizing customer satisfaction isn’t just about service quality; it’s a strategic imperative that directly contributes to a utility’s bottom line and regulatory standing.

Achieving a high level of analytics maturity to drive this customer-centric transformation is challenging. The journey involves not just technological advancements but also a cultural shift within organizations. Success stories from utilities that have navigated this path highlight the tangible benefits. For example, one East Coast utility managed to increase E-Billing adoption by 15% in a single year, leading to substantial postal cost savings, by leveraging sophisticated modeling and segmentation techniques to engage the right customers.

Similarly, another utility reduced its call center load while increasing digital self-service engagement by 30% through predictive analytics, which anticipated customer inquiries and directed them towards digital channels. This proactive approach not only enhanced customer satisfaction but also optimized operational efficiency. Moreover, by employing analytics to engage low-to-moderate income customers, one utility saw tripled engagement rates, doubled LIHEAP disbursements, and improved satisfaction scores within this demographic, demonstrating the effectiveness of personalized, data-driven communication strategies.

Despite these successes, many utilities feel daunted by the task of developing a mature analytics capability. Constraints such as code freezes, outdated systems, and lengthy upgrade cycles often impede progress. However, a recent webinar featuring analytics leaders from NiSource and Southern California Edison highlighted the importance of a “business-first” iterative approach to significantly accelerate the analytics maturity journey. This strategy emphasizes quick wins and tangible returns on investment, allowing utilities to advance their analytics capabilities without the wait for foundational IT upgrades (Borenstein T. Kandell, R. & Peacore, M., 2023).

For utilities seeking to fast-track their analytics maturity, partnering with external AI partners offers a viable solution. These partners’ experience in deploying AI models and achieving ROI within a quarter exemplifies how external expertise can overcome internal barriers to analytics adoption. Such partnerships enable utilities to bypass technical hurdles and directly access advanced analytical tools and strategies.

Looking ahead, the cautious exploration of Generative AI by the utilities sector signals the next frontier in analytics. While adoption may be slower compared to other industries, the potential for transformative applications exists. Executive GenAI Preview sessions, offered by industry experts, provide utilities a glimpse into these future possibilities, guiding them on how to strategically leverage Generative AI to further enhance customer engagement and operational efficiency.

In conclusion, the journey towards analytics maturity in the utilities sector is both a challenge and an opportunity. Utilities that embrace a data-driven, customer-centric approach can expect not only to enhance customer satisfaction but also to achieve significant operational and financial benefits.

Recognizing the value of strategic partnerships and adopting iterative, business-first strategies can effectively navigate the complexities of this transformation.

For those ready to accelerate their journey, industry AI partners stand ready to guide the way, offering the tools, expertise, and support needed to unlock the full potential of analytics in the utilities sector.


Borenstein, T., Kandell, R. & Peacore, M. (2023). Running a Modern Utility Analytics Organization [Webinar]. BlastPoint.

About the Author

Tomer Borenstein is CTO and Co-founder of BlastPoint, a customer intelligence software company based in Pittsburgh, Pa.


BlastPoint is a sponsor for UA Summit 2024, brought to you by Utility Analytics Institute and is produced by Endeavor Business Media