One of Tennessee’s largest cooperatives unlocks the value of data to drive business decisions for 70,000 members
Duck River Electric Membership Corporation, an electric cooperative serving more than 70,000 members throughout Tennessee, has seen improved reporting and access to data for key business decisions since its February 2016 implementation of IQ Analytics from SEDC.
Duck River, which ranks among the top five percent of the largest co-ops in the nation, provides electricity to five counties in central Tennessee. Duck River IT Analyst Annie Clements said the co-op’s main goal is to become the nation’s top ranked electric co-op for customer service.
In 2014, to help achieve that goal, Duck River’s board of directors, together with CEO Michael Watson, identified the need for technology tools to better leverage their data as a top priority. Around the same time, the co-op faced a huge new project to ensure compliance with TVA regulations.
Annie Clements recalled the challenges. “Data is like gold, but only if you know how to mine it. Duck River had this huge bucket of gold but they could not figure out how to access it.”
In February 2016, Duck River implemented SEDC’s IQ Analytics. Clements, who has a background in data analysis, was tasked with working with ReportIQ, to access the data and feed it to them.
The new software streamlined the co-op’s ability to meet the TVA requirements, which involved creating complex reports that had never been done before. With ReportIQ, Duck River compiled data to identify who had paid security deposits and to demonstrate that all non-profit customers had paid the same amount of security deposit as regular corporations.
“It may sound simple, but if we had not had this reporting ability, then some person would probably be spending 40 hours of every week for the next year trying to compute this information one by one,” said Clements. “Now, the report is just there and no one would ever know how complicated it would have been to create it ourselves.”
The ReportIQ platform goes beyond the standard reporting library common with legacy dashboard applications by offering each user the flexibility to create custom analytics and gather the data exactly the way they want to see it, providing virtually unlimited options. By blending data from any number of previously unconnected data sources, ReportIQ leverages technology that can help managers see patterns, identify trends and discover visual insights in seconds.
“The SEDC software is very robust and user-friendly,” said Clements. “It is a highly sophisticated tool but can be used by not highly technical users. The online user community serves as an excellent support resource, especially for complex visuals.”
The analytics gave the co-op the ability to receive graphic reports that provide an instant picture of their progress, status or performance to help them with decision-making and save time and resources. ReportIQ is measured in real time – showing all data that is available when a data call is initiated. The technology behind the IQ Analytics tool allows usage, billing, and data to be gathered, based on how frequently the utility’s master data management is gathering data, and analyzed to deliver complex, accurate reporting of the co-op’s performance.
“We can now visually measure our goals and our progress,” says Clements. “Overall, this helps us make better business decisions and saves us a lot of time gathering data to drive smart business decisions for our customers. The analytics tool has changed everything about the way our reporting is done. SEDC provided the ability for us to make use of our ‘gold,’ ultimately helping us achieve our goal of increased customer service and satisfaction.”