ISSN 2330-717X

Spanish Energy Industry Has Opportunity To Speed Up Development In Data And Analytics


Spanish energy industry companies still need to assimilate the data and analytics culture, but they are on the right track to do so. This is the takeaway from the 2019 Minsait Report on Digital Maturity in Spain, focused on Data and Analytics, which highlights that overall only 19% of Spanish companies have an approach based on the application of analytics beyond operational excellence. That is why Spanish energy companies must become aware that dealing with coming challenges and threats is only possible with deep business knowledge extracted from data.

The Minsait Report on Digital Maturity of companies in the energy industry, which was presented at a meeting organized by the Club Español de la Energía (Spanish Energy Club), highlights that probably the main weaknesses are the need to acquire more human resources and the non-existence of a data governance program. The report says that barely 10% of the energy companies in our country have enough specialists in data and analytics. Moreover, the working methods on data and analytics are mostly traditional: 90% of companies do not democratize data yet. In addition, 60% of energy companies have not yet clearly defined the responsibilities and governance model for data.

In technological terms, the industry shows improvements, although they are still small-scale ones. For example, 40% of energy companies now have real-time processing capabilities. The main challenge lies in the fact that 90% of companies have no data governance tool. However, there is a possibility of reducing operating and maintenance costs thanks to technology deployment. This deployment can be seen in companies with a clear upward trend.

Certainly, the challenge concerning this transformation process is bigger for the largest companies in the industry than for new players, which in many cases emerge with strategies that are already aligned with a business model based on data and analysis. However, the industry does not have a very aggressive approach, since only 10% of companies aspire to run disruptive businesses based on data. The rest of them focus on value of data regarding the operational excellence of their physical assets. As a consequence, the pace of change is still slow: only 30% of companies use data in their strategic decisions.  

Full use of customer information has a way to go

Spanish energy utilities can improve their use of data regarding their customers, since their knowledge about them is moderate. Firstly, barely one third analyze customers’ experience in order to redesign it, with moderate levels of flexibility. Secondly, customer knowledge level can still grow, since only 30% of companies use external data to broaden their vision. 360º knowledge of customer, multi-business and multi-product management and omnichannel approaches are also challenges in which work is progressing.

With regard to sounding out environment in order to analyze competition and brand awareness, only 38% monitor it in a frequent and automatic manner. No energy utility thoroughly follows the movements of competition and only one third of them apply business intelligence when observing and managing their brand reputation.  

General conclusions of the Minsait Report of Digital Maturity  

As a whole, Spanish companies are some way from having a Data Driven Organization (DDO), which is shown by the fact that only 46% of all Spanish companies give data their due importance in their strategies and have programs intended to evolve towards this type of organization. Few companies are paying attention to their data lifecycle management capabilities: only 19% have an approach based on applying analytics beyond operational excellence. 

More information included in the 2019 Minsait Report on Digital Maturity in Spain:

  • As regards strategy, the study points out that the data-centric approach needs to take hold more solidly, making data analytics an integral part of company strategy: only 56% of the companies have a clear vision of the opportunities that data offer.
  • With regard to organization, it states that, while management supports maturity for the application of data and analytics in 65% of companies, only 23% of Spanish companies claim that they have a solid data governance of acceptable quality, and only 17% have implemented policies regarding control, maintenance, and continuous improvement of algorithms.
  • With regard to culture and talent, only 17% of companies report that they have enough specialists in data and analytics. Likewise, only 28% of companies claim to have a data quality culture, and only one fourth implement new working methods driven by data (new methodologies, democratization, sharing).
  • Concerning technology, only 30% of the organizations have implemented Big Data technologies, and 11% use tools to optimize data governance (dictionaries, MDM, modeling, quality, etc.).

The Minsait Report also analyzed how developments in analytics are deployed and how they are transferred to the four-dimensional value chain:

  • As regards innovation, 10% of companies have an observatory of trends related to data, and 8% have an automatic market observatory to detect innovation opportunities.
  • Concerning customers, only 26% of companies in the report use external data to improve customers’ added knowledge and only 19% continuously monitor customer experience to redesign it.
  • As for operations, 27% of companies seize the opportunities that analytics offer, but only 6% apply intelligent optimization to their IT function, and 11% apply it to their financial function.
  • In terms of security, almost 80% comply with strict policies and mechanisms which guarantee secure access to user data. However, only 40% of companies use analytical techniques for fraud prevention, and 17% of them use them for identifying future risks. 

Benefits derived from applying a Data-Driven Organization

Minsait makes the following summary of benefits derived from investing with conviction in becoming a company that gives data their due importance:

  • These companies extract value from data and achieve a high return on investments: in the short run, through operational or commercial direct optimization, or in the long run, through customer knowledge. This extends their viability as they face new players with data-based business models.
  • They build capital based on intangible assets: data. This generates long-term competitive advantages with a customer-centric approach which fosters an experience-based value proposition. 
  • They speed up decision-making capacities, which allows them to be the first to react to a changing environment, thus better adapting to the customers’ needs.
  • They generate synergies around data through universal access and by enhancing the company’s skills base. This reduces the time needed to develop new products, gives a global vision to many formerly departmental initiatives and creates collaborative environments which promote innovation.

Minsait teams possess the knowledge, methods, and advanced technological expertise to aid Spanish companies in their transformation towards data-driven organizations and to help them harness the potential of data to create a positive impact, offering personalized counseling to meet the competitive challenges posed by a scenario in constant transformation.

About the report

To prepare the 2019 Report on Digital Maturity in Spain, Minsait carried out research from a dual perspective: on the one hand, through personal interviews with representatives of more than 100 companies from different industries and public organizations; on the other hand, through conversations with professionals with recognized experience in the field of data governance.

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