How energy companies can overcome data transition issues

By Malka Townshend
Malka Townshend, COO of Sagacity, advises energy firms to tackle data migration difficulties, implement actionable insights and adopt data best practice

Data is reportedly now more valuable than oil and its transformative nature is certainly undeniable.

From the Bank of England overhauling its data collection, to the NHS requiring Integrated Care Systems to have smart digital and data platforms in place by April 2022, I believe that next year will see data transformation go mainstream. However, while organisations are keenly focused on how to get the most out of their data, challenges remain. For example, 41% of businesses are frustrated that they have not yet been able to use data to drive decisions, while Gartner states that each year, poor data quality costs organisations an average of £9.6 million.

While 2022 will be the year that data transformation takes centre stage across all industries, for the energy industry it will be vital to its recovery from a tough 2021. Sadly, 24 suppliers fell to the energy crisis, leaving millions of customers displaced elsewhere. To win back loyalty and boost the recovery of the industry, energy companies must take steps to address barriers like data migration difficulties, lack of actionable insights and data best practices to reap the full reward. 

While gas prices have fallen with Russia increasing supplies, the recent disruption to the industry is far from over. Those who survived will be emerging with new customers, after accounts from the collapsed companies were reassigned to new suppliers by the industry regulator, Ofgem. This means many of them will be starting the new year welcoming these customers, setting up their accounts and onboarding their data into the wider ecosystem.

If they do not get the data migration spot on, customers could experience a range of problems. Issues may range from being transferred to the wrong tariff or having debt repayment plans disrupted, to their bill being sent to the wrong address, leading to bill shock later in the year. 

There could be even more damaging consequences for customers experiencing financial vulnerability. With the pandemic plunging thousands in the UK into poverty, it’s more important than ever that these individuals are proactively identified using data and offered additional support. Therefore, it’s crucial that suppliers clearly define who their financially vulnerable customers are and understand how best to service them as part of their onboarding process.

They must get data migrations right in 2022, ensuring data is cleansed, formatting is standardised, and good processes are put in place to guarantee they have accurate and complete customer data from the beginning. This way, customers will have positive experiences, which can benefit suppliers when consumers decide whether to stick with their new provider over the longer term.

Malka Townshend is COO of data firm Sagacity

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