MOSL, the non-household water market operator, has launched a data strategy to unlock the benefits the market can provide towards demand and supply issues as well as reaching net zero carbon emissions.

The strategy has four themes to address market friction points and move past these towards better outcomes for customers and the environment. They are:

  • Reducing the cost and increasing the value of market data. This will include investigating and modelling costs of managing and using market data to enable effective prioritisation.
  • Increasing the completeness and accuracy of market data. This will address persistent data quality issues in core customer and asset data.
  • Developing a market data management framework. This will see an enduring foundation developed and embedded to manage and govern market data.
  • Using data proactively to uncover risks, issues and opportunities. This, MOSL suggested, will drive increased value and opportunities for trading parties and their customers.

John Davies, chief information officer at MOSL told Utility Week the conversation within the sector has evolved over the past 18 months.

“The main observation is that 18 months ago we were explaining the importance of good data. That has been accepted and now we’re talking about how collectively as a market we can use data to fix some of the challenges we face and make the most of the data we have and what data the market could acquire,” Davies said.

“That’s driven a better conversation around data. Trading parties and the wider stakeholders are increasingly aware of its importance and how critical it will be to the success of the market, particularly for outcomes for customers and the wider environment.”

He explained that MOSL wants to see data costs minimised.

“Data quality is a massive friction for the market so there is a lot of money being spent by trading parties to either work around poor quality data or start to improve it. We want to make data as cost efficient as possible and, ultimately, to unlock as much value and potential from data as possible to improve service to customers and the contribution the business market can make to wider sector challenges around supply and demand or net zero,” Davies said.

MOSL said the strategy seeks to improve the quality, richness and granularity of data. Davies said one of the main challenges to address is the inconsistency of legacy data from before the retail market was opened, which can be incomplete, inaccurate and of questionable validity, particularly with regards to meters.

Davies noted that whilst the market is customer-focused with many aspirations around delivering better outcomes, CMOS has no central view of customers because these records are maintained by individual retailers.

Contributing to the broader sector’s ambitions on water efficiency and carbon net zero will require better understanding of consumption in the market – when, where and how water is being used by different customer segments. “We have some data in the central system but there is a need for more granular consumption data,” Davies said, adding that this could be delivered via smart or advanced metering.

Another proposition from MOSL, which is yet to be agreed upon by stakeholders, is a data cleanse and enrichment service. Davies explained this could be introduced as a way for MOSL to proactively improve data sets as a deliverable service for trading parties.