Fortum

Fortum electricity retail business more data-driven with Solita Agile Data Engine solution

Fortum, the leading energy company in Finland, was looking to improve the way they use the data generated about electricity retail customers to develop customer segmentation and new services. The data warehouse for customer data was completely updated to be a more flexible support tool for business needs. Solita’s Agile Data Engine solution took the development and operation of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud-based data warehouse to a new level, enabling rapid changes as well as easily and cost-effectively combining data from different sources for the whole organisation to use. The new data warehouse and Agile Data Engine work together as a strong foundation for the future data capability of Fortum and the building of data-driven business.

For the companies of the future, one cornerstone of success is the ability to use data in a versatile manner to create new operating models, services and business. The energy company Fortum was looking to collect and combine data about retail electricity customers in a more flexible manner for various purposes, such as segmentation and the creation of new services. A better, more cost-effective way of using that data required a new data warehouse that could combine data from different sources into one system and allow the development of new, data-driven services.

fortum logo

Quick and flexible data for business

The focus was on getting data for business use more quickly. The business needs of Fortum are constantly changing, and the data warehouse needs to be able to adapt to these changes flexibly, but also in a controlled manner. This is why the new data warehouse was designed to be scalable and cost-effective cloud solution that can support real-time functions, such as reports for business. It was also important to create a new kind of architecture and operating model that will support the agile development of new business and services, as well as allowing quick experimentation.

Agile Data Engine speeds up operations in a cloud-based data warehouse

We began building Fortum’s new data warehouse with our Agile Data Engine (ADE) development and operating platform. ADE is intended for the implementation and operation of cloud-based data warehouses. It uses the DataOps model to automate repeating steps, allowing changes to be introduced in the production environment at a quick pace. ADE introduces a shared company data model where data from multiple sources can be integrated and modelled, allowing for easy and quick solutions to be built according to the needs of different units and functions. At Fortum, ADE is tasked with integrating data generated in various data silos into a unified and coherent whole for business use.

Challenging project completed on schedule

The project was challenging from the start. Fortum had no previous experience with cloud-based data warehouse architecture. The schedule for the project had been set in advance, and it was absolute. The nature of the project highlighted the strengths of ADE: when you need to use your data quickly without losing quality while keeping different environments up to date, ADE is second to none when it comes to enhancing data integration. ADE made it possible to bring the services required for the cloud-based data platform online quickly without the need for complicated custom DevOps solutions, allowing everyone to focus on improving the data content.

While working with Fortum, we were operating three solution environments – development, testing and production – so that we could prepare for production from early on in the project. The Fortum base system was adopted in the spring of 2018, and by the end of the summer, over 200 changes or updates had been made to the system. If we had not been able to make these adjustments so quickly, the business-critical reporting function would have dragged behind when the base system was adopted.

The greatest challenge in the project was that the basic CRM system for Fortum's customer service was being replaced in parallel with the development of the data warehouse and analytics solution. We had to adapt to uncertainty and constant changes, but we were able to keep to the schedule and budget regardlessKimmo Kantojärvi, Lead Architect, Solita

Focus from performance to producing value

The new solution made Fortum’s reporting process move much more quickly: a long-term forecast and euro sum audits can now be made over 85 % faster.

ADE allows us to focus on what is important – producing value. We do not have to think about the release process when everything works automatically. This has given us a clear structure and sped up our whole process.

– Ville Viitanen, Manager, Fortum

With AWS cloud-based solutions volumes of data, like Fortum’s annual 10 billion rows of measurement data, can be processed much more quickly and cost-effectively than in conventional on-premises environments.

Future data capability quickly and cost-effectively

Fortum’s new warehouse for electricity data lays a strong foundation for the management of ever-increasing volumes of data. It allows the company to meet changing business needs better and ensures high-quality data for building new services. Combining modern software development methods and expertise in data-intensive systems, ADE brings a new capability to Fortum: DataOps. With enhanced workflow and a shorter turnaround time for changes, business value can be extracted from data more quickly, and genuine iterative development becomes possible. Data from multiple sources is now combined into one whole that serves as a foundation for quick and easy creation of different services while maintaining a sustainable data architecture, giving Fortum increased data capability.

ADE also simplifies the work of data professionals by combining features from conventional separate tools (modelling, ETL) and automating steps in implementation and commissioning. The amount of manual work and dependence on individuals is reduced considerably.

Results:

  • All customer data about Fortum’s electricity sales in one location.
  • Enables development of new services based on data and data-driven business.
  • Significant boost to reporting and forecasts.
  • Quick and controlled move to cloud-based data warehousing.
  • Cloud-based automated data warehouse scales according to business needs and adjusts to changes quickly.
  • Easier and faster data warehouse operation thanks to Solita ADE.
  • Scaling foundation for the development of future data capability (DataOps).

Agile Data Engine (ADE) is a software application for developing and managing cloud-based data warehouse solutions

With ADE, you can implement your cloud-based data platform

  • Modelling
  • Transformations
  • Data smoke tests
  • Continuous deployment
  • Dev/Test/Production environments
  • Workflow orchestration
  • Automation

Interested? Contact us

Pasi Jalonen

Director, Competences

pasi.jalonen@solita.fi

+358 40 5844 076