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Coursework 2: Case Study

BI Solutions for PLN (Indonesian State Electricity Company)

Module Title: Big Data Analytics and Business Intelligence (7BDIN010W)

The University of Westminster
Module Leader: Dr. Farjam Eshraghian

Bianca Siregar (17014500)

MSc. Digital Business
January, 14 2018
Word count: 2, 098 words

This paper aims to evaluate the opportunity of big data (BD) and business intelligence (BI)

for PLN (Indonesia Electricity Company). The literature review is followed by opportunities

identification. The findings show that there is an opportunity to automate distribution

transformer inspection and maintenance process. It is recommended for PLN to adopt SAP

S/4HANA platform as it will enable PLN to implement real-time predictive analysis to reduce

the frequency of power outage.


2 A bst r ac t


4 1.Introduction

4 1.2 Selected company: PT. PLN


5 2.1 Literature review

6 2.2 Opportunities for PLN Transmission operation

6 2.3 Current BI choice

8 2.4 Evaluation of Various BI solutions


9 3.1 Conclusion

10 3.2 Recommendations

11 3.3. Limitations

12 References

16 Appendices

In recent years, global companies have to experience wide-ranging challenge in the way they use
data, evolving from simple operational process to tactical decision support processing,
culminating in the strategic use of information. In the ever-changing operational and technology
environment, it is imperative to implement BI strategy to optimise business processes which allow
organisations to gain competitive advantage (Qing, Boyu and Qinqian, 2017). Particularly in the
energy and utility industry, the possibilities of adopting BI platforms are extensive. GTM Research
predicts that global utility company expenditure on data analytics will grow into a US$3.8 billion
market in 2020, with gas, electricity, and water suppliers adopting new software and tools to
improve internal operation (Courtney, 2014).


The chosen company for the case study is PLN (Perusahaan Listrik Negara) (Indonesian State
Electricity Company). It is the Indonesian government-owned corporation and the sole provider
of electricity to the public, serving more than 66 million customers across Indonesia (PLN, 2017).
PLN operates across the entire value chain, from power generation, transmission and distribution
(Figure 1).

Figure 1. PLN key business segments

Source: PLN, 2017

In the past, PLN has continually expanded its power generation capacity and gained reputational
success. For instance, PLN was listed in the Fortune Global 500 for outstanding sales
performance (The Jakarta Post, 2014). Nevertheless, one of its operational challenge is frequent
power outage due to machine failures, which results in low customer satisfaction rate (Riantiza
and Zuhri, 2018) (Kumparan, 2018) (PWC, 2018). Although PLN is the sole player in the Indonesia
electricity industry and does not have direct competitor, PLN should increase internal operational
efficiency to reduce operation cost which contributes to the company’s long-term profitability.

Responding to this challenge, this paper identifies the opportunity for BI solution to enhance
PLN distribution department operation. Part two presents the relevant literature review
regarding the BD and BI in the utility sector. Then, the BI opportunities for PLN and choices of
different technologies will be evaluated. Finally, the last part of this paper consists of conclusion,
recommendation and limitation based on findings.



In the utility industry, the application of analytics has multiple application along the value chain.
(Figure 2). Particularly in the distribution functional area, the possibilities are extensive due to
the adoption of smart grid and smart meters. (Qing, Boyu and Qinqian, 2017) (Liu et al., 2017)
(Braun, 2018) (Figure 2). IBM whitepaper (2012) argues that companies are capable of gaining a
vast amount of data collected from devices such as smart grid and smart meter which allow
them to gain new insights quickly. Unlike traditional energy meter that often only read once a
day, the smart meter can send data as frequent as every 15 minutes (Shipman, 2012) (IBM,
2015). These sensors and meter data are then loaded to the BI platforms for querying,
reporting, real-time monitoring, and analysis (Lungu and Popeanga, 2012).

Figure 2. BI and BD analytics applications along the utility value chain

Source: Bisson et. al, 2018

Accenture’s white paper highlights that one of the emerging industrial challenges is to reduce
the power outage duration (Appendix 1). Using data that send back from sensors and with the
support of suitable BI platforms, companies can intelligently monitor the disturbance, track
energy usage, locate power failure quickly and even predicting the potential cause of power
outage (Miao and Zhang, 2014) (BC Hydro, no date) (Figure 3) (Appendix 2).

Energy production
(Traditional &
Capacity decision

Sensor data
production System

Streaming analytics
Meteorological Data Integration & (Predicting, usage,
Data (wind, light, temporary staging production and
temperature, etc) anomalies)

Usage data
(smart, meters,
smart, Grid Permanent storage area

Consumption Pricing decision
system ( Residential
& Commercial)

Figure 3. A use case of streaming analytics in the utilities industry

A use case of streaming analytics in the energy industry
Source. Sharda,
Sharda, Delen
Delen, and Turban,
and Turban, 2018, p. 433
2018, p.433


For PLN, there is an opportunity to automate the
distribution transformer inspection as well as to
predict when and where equipment downtime and
power failures are most likely to occur. Currently, PLN
does not have an efficient process of monitoring the
distribution transformer, which makes them incapable
to identify machines failure quickly (Martin, 2017)
(PLN, 2017) (Kumparan, 2018) (Jones, 2014). Figure 4. Maintenance staff inspecting distribution
transformer manually
Customer often report power outages through PLN
Source: Tampubolon, Sukrislismono, Rendroyoko, 2017
Twitter account (@PLN_123) (Appendix 3).
The operation department must keep distribution transformer to be functional at all time because
machine disruption or breakdown result in a power outage and if this occurs frequently, it will degrade
the performance of these transformers (Sabherwal and Fernandez, 2011, p.132) (Letourneau, 2015).
A real-time monitoring process should be implemented to allow quick machine problem
identification, so maintenance work can be done immediately, and thus, preventing potential power


To monitor machine condition, PLN is currently using SAP Module Plant Maintenance which
calculates the health index of the distribution transformer (Tampubolon, Sukrilismono, and
Rendroyo, 2015). The current process involves PLN field operator to upload the inspection result
to SAP manually or by uploading an excel file (Figure 4&5). Then, this platform calculates health
index indicators (HII), categorises the condition of the machine, and determine whether machine
maintenance is needed. If maintenance or repair is required, the system schedules the next
maintenance date.

Figure 5. Health index calculation using SAP Module Plant Maintenance
Source: Tampubolon, Sukrislismono, and Rendroyoko, 2017

In the current process, there is a significant lag time between collecting information, analysis,
decision making and action, referred to as decisional latency (Figure 6). The problem occurs if
sudden the distribution transformer breakdown before maintenance schedule, which results in a
power outage. If the distribution transformers breakdown frequently, the machine capacity
decreases over time and the electricity distribution process becomes more inefficient.

Figure 6. Data, analysis, and decision Latency

Source: Eckerson, 2004


There are three proposed BI software solutions that able to store, manage, analyse data in real
time. The functionality, scalability, usability, manageability and customisability aspect are

Dell - Energy Analytics Solution (EAS)

EAS allows energy management to integrate data from multiple sources. The platform is
embedded with analytical and visualisation capabilities that customisable for different business
users (Dell EMC, 2016). Information is collected from smart devices including smart meter, smart
grid, and geospatial data which then stored in Hadoop data lake. The platform also provides
forecasting and outage identification capability, which can be used for PLN to optimise
distribution system planning and maintenance. The system offers flexibility, as it allows users to
customise dashboard and data visualisation for different business users such as operation analyst
or technician worker (Dell EMC, 2016). For instance, field workers can select an icon on the
dashboard which leads to a geographical map, and access comprehensive information about an
asset (the distributor transformer), including voltage consumption, and meter details (BC Hydro,
no date).

Oracle Utilities
Oracle Utilises offers an end-to-end solution from asset operation to customer service
management for electricity companies such as PLN (Oracle, 2011) (Appendix 4). It has specific
software for asset management that able to monitor asset lifecycle and streamline maintenance
operation. In addition, Oracle has Social Relationship Management (SRM) a suite which monitors
social media channel to communicate power outage issue to the customer through multiple
social media platform in a seamless and integrated way (Oracle, 2013, p.9). This specific platform
could be useful for PLN to provide timely information to the customer about the power outage.
Personalised dashboards provide automated alerts, graphs, charts, and interactive view options
(Oracle, 2013) (Oracle, 2011) (Sabherwal and Fernandez, 2011).

SAP S/4HANA (High-performance analytics appliance)

SAP S/4HANA is an OLTAP-memory, column-oriented relational database management platform
which combines OLAP and OLTP into a single system (Appendix 5). The "in-memory" feature
accelerates analytical performance, so in the case of PLN, the health index of the machine can
be calculated quickly. The platform facilitates the use of simulation to achieve greater insight
such as by converting event reporting and risk assessment into actionable knowledge (SAP, 2016)
The system is capable of handle high volumes of operational data, perform predictive and time-
series analysis. For visualisation, SAP Lumira is easy-to-use by the drag and drop features. This
software provides convenient as it is accessible via tablet or mobile devices via the SAP Fiori
application (SAP, 2016).


PLN is experiencing an operational challenge which to implement real time monitoring for the
distribution transformer, reduce the outage duration and improve the reliability of electricity
supply. Nevertheless, PLN still has manual processes and disperse analytical method between
extracting, loading a transforming data that are used to monitoring the distributor transformer.
Therefore, process automation and supporting BI platform must be implemented to better
predict outage occurrences.

There are two steps recommendations proposed for PLN (Figure 7). This recommendation
BI Strategy Roadmap for PLN
should be implemented to Jakarta and Bali region where the smart grid and smart meter has
been installed (Romer et al., 2017) (BusinessWire, 2016).
Jakarta Region Bali Region (The rest of Indonesia)

2019 2020 2021 2022

Step 1: Pilot project adopting Step 2: Data sharing between

SAP 4/HANA operation and with Customer - Similar implementation can
- Gather business requirements Service department be executed along with the
& update data governance - Push adoption to customer Installation smart grid and
practice relationship management smart meter.
- Design BI architecture department
- Training for operation - Establish efficient method
manager, analysts, and field communication during power
worker for using SAP4/HANA outage ( e.g. through twitter
- Parallel operation with the announcement / push notification
current system through the PLN mobile app)
- Begin with data migration - Establish KPI to measure
process customer satisfaction
- Start predictive analysis small - User acceptance
area coverage (e.g. Central testing 2
Jakarta only)

- User acceptance
testing 1

Figure 7. Proposed Strategy roadmap for PLN

First, it is recommended to conduct a pilot project to adopt SAP S/4HANA. The platform
facilitates the real-time monitoring of the distributor transformer, has potential capability to
predict the duration and potential cause of the power outage. The system has strong data mining
and predictive analytics capabilities, so it will enable PLN’s maintenance staff to identify the next
equipment failures, in advance (Saidler al., 2017) (SAP, 2016, p.10). This way, staff maintenance
can take action before the machine failure and thus, decreasing the probability of power outage
and also maintain the distribution transformer performance to ensure it operates at its optimum
capacity. Also, PLN must incorporate external real-time data, such as weather data to increase
the accuracy of predicting power. According to Bain whitepaper, adding variables improved the
efficiency of prediction power of how long the outages would last (Guille, 2016). The new
platform will enable PLN to automate monitoring process as illustrated in Figure 8.


Transmission &
EXTRACT Distribution operation
• Early equipment
- Sensor data E XETXRTARCATC T LOAD • Real time Monitoring
- Smart meter ‣ Dashboard (Visualisation) • Reduce maintenance
- Smart grid sensor EXTRACT time
• Streamlining process
- Temperature sensor ‣ Real time equipment
- Equipment condition
Customer service & CRM
• Early announcement of
‣ Real time notification / power outage
alerts of potential • Better customer service
- Basic reporting equipment failure response
- Data mining • Monitoring customer
satisfaction and
- Analysis ‣ Prediction of power
developing KPIs for
- Predictive analysis further process

Figure 8. BI process after the adoption of SAP S/4HANA

Regarding data governance, SAP S/4HANA provides SAP Master Data Governance application
which enables structured and unstructured data to be managed using one centralised tool (SAP,
2016, p.12). Furthermore, the chosen platform provides the best integration solution with the
current system in use. SAP S/4HANA provides accessibility as it can be run on-premise or through
the cloud. It also offers scalability since it is built to run on a single database on clusters of
affordable servers which can be scaled to fit PLN growing needs (Bisson et al., 2018).

Secondly, PLN should foster information sharing between the Distribution department and the
CRM department, so information about power outages can be shared in a timely manner. Once
a potential power outage is identified and shared, the customer service staff can make an early
announcement about the power outages through different communication channels such as
Twitter account, PLN application, or through the website (Figure 9). Customer service personnel
can now have accurate information regarding what is the problem issue, the location and
accurate estimation of the power outages duration. By establishing the culture of information
sharing between the functional areas, the usage of the platform and database can be maximised
while also improving customer satisfaction rate.


Distribution Information sharing Customer Service

operation Management
Operation manager and analysts
After receiving information from the CRM Manager
staff maintenance, the transmission Using this information,
2 manager must briefly inform CRM
CRM manager informs
department about the potential customer service personnel
power outage, before it occurs. about the upcoming or
Low occurring power outage


Field technician/ investigators/

The staff maintenance receives Call centre personnel & social media
notification from SAP S/4 HANA operator
of the possible equipment Call centre personnel informs the
failures / power outage. This customer about the upcoming
1 4
information includes the type of power outage, through different
repair, how long the maintenance channels of (twitter, call centre,
process will take. Then, they need facebook, PLN mobile application,
to report back to the manager. etc.)

Medium/ High

Red : Business users
Blue : the degree of the detail of information needed in the business process.

Figure 9. Flow of information and business user’s identification in the new business process

There is various implementation challenge should PLN decide to adopt the recommendations
which are people, technological and data governance challenge. First, according to the
technology acceptance model, there will be resistant from business users due to the unfamiliarity
and changing business process (Lai, 2017). Thus, there should be acceptance testing during the
pilot project to increase business user’s familiarity with the platform, comprehensive training to
improve staff’s technical skill and foster the data-driven culture within the company (Vitt et al.,
2010). Secondly, there would be a technological integration challenge between the existing
system with SAP S/4HANA. Software integration is a time-consuming process, and its
implementation can take longer time than expected. Moreover, the newly adopted BI tool may
need to be set up differently according to different users’ needs and capabilities. PLN must
ensure that there is a balanced approach between customisation and standardisation, to ensure
that platforms can satisfy the current operational needs while remaining flexible for future use
(Shabhewal and Fernandez, 2011, p. 190).
Furthermore, as the amount of data collected will increase over time, the performance of the
platform may decrease. Monitoring sensors data in real-time involve large volumes of data,
particularly for real-time tasks such as equipment monitoring or outage prevention (IBM, 2012).
A well-planned BI architecture design process should be executed during the software
deployment process to prevent such problems later occur during the operation. Lastly, as more
and more business users get access to the in-memory application, there will be data governance
issue (Stackpole, 2013). Thus, PLN must establish a clear data governance practices which
enforces consistent definitions, rules, policies and procedures for data management process
within the company.


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Appendix 1. Relative importance challenge faced by utilities company

Source: Azagury, 2014

Appendix 2. Analytics can perform ranging from simple descriptions to more complex capabilities
Source: Guille, 2016

Appendix 3. Sample of power outage report from customer
Source: Twitter account @PLN_123






Appendix 4. Oracle Utilities
Source: Oracle, 2011

Appendix 5. SAP HANA
Source: SAP, 2016