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.
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.
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.