Work has begun to deliver a use case for a data cleanse and enrichment service for the non-household market.
MOSL has engaged data solutions company Sagacity to support the detailed definition of a central data cleanse and enrichment service. The project is titled Project Tide (Transformation in Data Enrichment). This phase of work includes exploring the potential use cases for the service and defining the solution and case for change that will be shared with the market for consultation in Q3 2022/23, as outlined in our 2022-25 Business Plan.
Poor data quality is a significant friction in the market and has been regularly highlighted by trading parties and Ofwat (Review of Incumbent Company Support for Effective Markets and State of the Market Report 2019-20).
As part of our Market Performance Operating Plan (MPOP) 2020/21, MOSL committed to delivering a data cleanse plan for core market items, and issued a Request for Information (RFI) in October 2020 to seek input from trading parties on the costs and challenges of managing poor quality data. Respondents noted significant impacts on their ability to perform core market activities such as verification of premises details, locating and identifying customers, and finding and reading meters. Respondents also identified several financial challenges of poor data quality, such as:
- The resource cost alone to manage and address poor quality customer and premises data is estimated to exceed £6M per year, impacting overall cost-to-serve and having a knock-on effect on resourcing day-to-day data processing/updates and performance initiatives
- The direct impact on retailer revenue limiting their ability to identify and tender customers or providing enhanced service offerings relevant to specific customer groups
- The affordability of third-party services and data to support the cleansing and enrichment of market data at the required scale.
Deriving value and insight from a market data is also key to improving water efficiency, which cannot be realised without the foundation of accurate and reliable data. As market operator, we have the ability to calculate the completeness of market data but are currently unable to determine its accuracy. As a result, incentives to improve data quality are limited. Targeted interventions around specific data items such as UPRN and VOA completeness have had a positive impact over the past 12 months, but overall progress has varied between parties and is not at the pace required considering the criticalness of the environmental agenda and necessary evolution of the market.
MOSL has selected Sagacity as a delivery partner for the definition phase of the project based on its proven experience within the utilities sector and knowledge of the issues with market data. Sagacity will work with MOSL to:
- Assess the current data quality across all trading parties
- Define the solution (process and technology) for a central cleanse and enrichment service
- Validate the cleansed data with a small pilot of trading parties
- Develop a service proposal (or case for change) that will inform a consultation
Anita Dougall, CEO of Sagacity, said: “We’re very excited to be partnering with MOSL to help transform data quality across the non-household water sector. We’ve witnessed through numerous data projects in the water industry and in other industries like Energy and Telecoms, how poor data quality impacts businesses and their customers. The opportunities and benefits afforded to organisations that have complete and accurate data are transformational, and it enables usable insights for stakeholders to take forward for further and continuous improvements.”.
John Davies, CIO of MOSL, said: “Data and information are essential for realising the intended benefits of the non-household water market and key to driving operational efficiency and evidenced-based improvement. Almost five years into the market, we have an opportunity to materially improve the quality of market data. Adopting a ‘fix from centre’ approach will deliver improvement more efficiently and consistently, and at a greater pace.”
Work is underway to assess the quality of supply point (SPID) data currently available in CMOS. We will be engaging with the market throughout the project and will be consulting with members of the Technology Advisory Group (TAG) and the Digital and Data Committee as work processes. MOSL and Sagacity will work with a small number of trading parties to validate the initial findings and the consultation, as part of the use case, is due to be published in Q2 2022/23.