ENA recently expanded its Innovation and Development team to include its first data focused role. Elena Theodorou, Data Lead explains the role's importance and how it will benefit ENA members.
What is so special about data?
Having worked at several organisations I have found myself housed in a variety of departments, most commonly in a quiet corner of the Operations or Information Technology teams. These teams were undoubtedly invaluable to their organisations, but they very much represented the nuts and bolts of keeping the organisations running day to day. In my view, harnessing the power of data should be seen as front and centre of any forward-thinking organisation and by investing in data, ENA is demonstrating it understands that it is an asset which is central to the future of the energy industry.
What does a Data Lead do?
This is a hugely exciting time to come on board, as ENA position to help members in their data and digitalisation journeys. It is fair to say that it is not a level playing field and that members have differing levels of data maturity. It is my job to identify a reasonable benchmark that networks can be encouraged to aspire to; understanding how we can help some members to reach that level, whilst also championing those who are excelling.
Through the ENA’s Data Working Group, we are coordinating members’ efforts in response to the Energy Data Task Force recommendations. Namely in creating a National Energy System Map and a Data Triage process, both of which will be going into a Proof of Concept development stage early in 2021. As well as being reactive to government and regulator needs, the Data Working Group is mapping out the Energy Data Landscape to identify areas of opportunity and collaboration that are ripe for members to get involved in.
What about the ENA’s own data and digitalisation journey?
With ENA growing organically over the years, the way in which data is managed and used internally has not been centrally coordinated. Now is the time to undertake an extensive data mapping exercise and create a robust and future-proofed strategy. This will lend a consistent structure to the many avenues in which ENA is involved with data, with one possible end goal being a centralised data catalogue consolidating all datasets in one place. This will give a better holistic view of all data led initiatives across ENA and will allow members faster and more coordinated access to the data ENA currently holds. This will also equip ENA with the tools to perform data functions for members that have, up until now, not been possible.
With the right foundations in place there will be countless opportunities for ENA to further deepen its impact on the Energy Data Landscape - moving us all in the right direction towards a Net-Zero future.
About Energy Networks Association
Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing the companies which operate the electricity wires, gas pipes and energy system in the UK and Ireland.
ENA helps its members meet the challenge of delivering electricity and gas to communities across the UK and Ireland safely, sustainably and reliably.
Its members include every major electricity and gas network operator in the UK and Ireland, independent operators, National Grid ESO which operates the electricity system in Great Britain and National Grid Gas which operates the gas system in Great Britain. Its affiliate membership also includes companies with an interest in energy, including Heathrow Airport and Network Rail.
What are energy network operators?
Energy network operators manage and maintain the wires, pipes and other infrastructure which delivers electricity and gas to your home, business and community. They are private companies which are regulated by Ofgem and employ around 45,000 people in the UK and Ireland. They are represented by their industry body, Energy Networks Association (that's us).
Energy supplier or network operator? Energy network operators are entirely separate to your energy supplier, which is the company that bills you for using electricity and gas. Energy suppliers and generators are represented by Energy UK.