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Printer Friendly VersionSelected Information - Proposed Research

CP512  Data - Getting it Right for the Water Retail Market Customer Service
Project Appreciation and Objectives

In the contestable water market, which is now open to businesses in England using over 5ML pa, water companies will need to exchange data on commercial customers. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the quality of data that will need to be exchanged is poor, with water companies not knowing the extent of data quality issues. Poor quality data carries substantial risks as it can act as a significant inhibitor to new suppliers switching customers, can impact on the reputation of the company and has cost implications. Irrespective of the water company's competition strategy, knowing the quality of data that is exchanged (either as a data provider or recipient) has value; understanding the extent of issues now allows water companies to act proactively to ensure data quality is good.

Working with Gemserv, who bring experience from the power sector and the Scottish water market, the objective is to enable companies to work proactively to ensure that they are ready to effectively meet the requirements to exchange contestable customer data.

Business Benefits to Clients

  • Managing reputational risks: delays in switching customers caused by poor data can lead to bad PR, customer and supplier complaints.
  • Managing compliance risks; allows companies to identify risks with noncompliance with regulatory obligations, rules and legislation.
  • Improving data quality and reducing operational costs: improved customer data can mean more accurate billing information, and fewer costs in error corrections.
  • Quantifying costs: production of data action plans will enable water companies to quantify any issues with data quality and the scale of cost to address these.

Work Programme

  1. Production of briefing note and draft data requirement.
  2. Start-up workshop to confirm scope and discuss draft data requirement.
  3. Individual meetings with participant organisations to discuss scope, data requirement and data collation exercise.
  4. Data collection and data analysis.
  5. Final data action plan report and dissemination to individual companies.

Project Output and Implementation

  • Report detailing the actions needed to be undertaken by organisations to mitigate reputational and compliance risks due to poor data quality.
  • Full dissemination meetings with individual participating organisations to discuss data action plan.

Related WRc and Gemserv Work

  • CP419 - Improving AMA through data quality (2011).
  • Design of market solution for retail water competition in Scotland.
  • Electricity market competition in Great Britain
  • Customer transfer and assurance work in England and Wales water market.
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