Business technology consulting and managed services provider, Ignia, has deployed Microsoft Azure and Power BI for WA government-owned electricity distributor, Western Power.
The Ignia team was tasked with creating a visual, interactive solution called the Customer Service Outage Dashboard, which helps engineers to investigate the locations and causes of service interruptions.
On a daily basis, Western Power has to efficiently track and analyse outages in an electricity supply network spread across 250,000 square kilometres, servicing more than two million customers.
Initially, this was a time-consuming, manual process, which impacted its services and customer communications.
Ignia considered several potential designs for Western Power before settling on a fully cloud-based Power BI solution, hosted in Microsoft Azure.
The solution needed to accommodate huge amounts of data being generated daily by Western Power, and then to rapidly process and visualise the relevant information for staff to access.
Storage cost was also an important consideration, and a significant input to the final product design.
Ignia lead architect, John Rampono, said the project was challenging.
“We were working with a large and complex data set,” he said. “The solution had to analyse event data generated each minute by millions of electricity meters from around the state.
“This was solved by leveraging the Azure Cloud infrastructure. Azure table storage combined with Azure SQL and Power BI provided the scalability to deal with the data load.”
Western Power head of customer service, Gino Giudice, was keen to introduce more advanced reporting capabilities to the business and to use the data captured by affiliated systems more effectively.
“While we were able to manually collate the required reports, there was certainly room for improvement around this process and opportunities to provide ‘next-level’, proactive service to our customers,” Giudice said.