One of our clients, a well-known energy manager for a large corporation was a bit jaded when he saw that we were going to discuss our reporting platform with him. “Everybody has one, and it is usually just an overload of statistics,” was his position. It’s true. Our industry often touts, “We have over 200 reports at your fingertips.” But in reality, how can all those reports be used?
Half-way through our discussion of how we were planning to customize the platform for this client, he blurts out, “Oh! You aren’t going to push data at me, its information!” In that instant he got it. It isn’t about the number of reports or the ways you can slice and dice data. It is the business questions that can be answered. Usually this is a small set of trending KPIs or similar statistics that need to be monitored. All the details of the performance monitoring is important to watch as well, but executives need to track progress towards corporate goals, and be enabled to spend capital dollars through performance facts, not raw M&V reports and monthly usage exceptions.
True, there is a tendency in our industry to separate this type of reporting into detailed reports and then “dashboards” for the executive views. But they are still lacking in customization as a client needs. I can tell you no two hoteliers have the same corporate initiatives measured the same way. No two restaurant chains have the same business pressures. So why would I have a “standard dashboard” for an industry?
The ugly reality is that most users are casual users to such web reporting features; they often can’t remember which of the dozen performance reports they ran last month and it is frustrating. It is data-overload.
The old cliché that “less is more” is true in energy data.
Now that we live in the era of “Big Data” we need to live in the world of smart monitoring not big reporting. Smart reporting… now that creates client value. And then we both win.
This is Part 3 of our new mini-series discussing the Burton Energy Strategy Platform! Stay tuned more posts this summer!