Building a Trusted Data Practice



A large utility company was faced with some of the biggest issues an enterprise can face. Destructive fires that resulted in loss of life were blamed on its electricity infrastructure, followed by bankruptcy and a loss of customer and government trust. To help prevent further disasters, the organization devoted all its resources to inspecting and repairing its aging infrastructure. However, they couldn’t replace and repair everything and the most senior leadership didn’t trust their company’s data. Unify was engaged to help determine how to bring trust back to the company and generate reliable data for decision makers.




Unify was asked to help create new data management practices in a modern product development organization. Drone and LIDAR data was used to guide prioritization of inspections and repairs. Unify developed an Agile environment for building products without a mandate and with little recognition from top management of the importance of trust in data. The team developed an enterprise-wide data management strategy and execution plan which was complemented with a federated operating model design. The program started with a short-term focus on improving data quality supporting the Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) processes to greatly improve accuracy and customer contact. The team designed and implemented business-led data governance and data quality operations to address some of the greatest business needs related to risk and safety. Unify helped build an Enterprise Data Management function to coordinate and synchronize the differing needs across the business units.

Key Outcomes


Unify built a trusted data practice community across different product groups. Basic metadata gathering practices were developed, and critical data elements and known data quality issues were identified. A Collibra data governance technology platform was utilized and over 5,000 elements were initially captured. This system enriched contact data for 72% of customers affected by PSPS. Thousands of  instances were identified where grid connections within customer premises were inaccurate. Twenty-six asset data stewards and fourteen customer data stewards were appointed to form the foundation for data governance operations. The organization is now able to use trusted data to drive high quality decisions saving lives and communities and reduce future liability.