Gerard V Metzler, Founder & President
The energy & utility industry continues to be disrupted as it faces the continuing task of incorporating ‘Smart Grid Technology’. The era of ‘smart grid’ has been accompanied by the era of big data and interconnectivity. “The industry now has a never-ending supply of information that can yield real business value,” says Gerard V Metzler, President, Quantitative Business Analytics. Based in Dallas, Texas QBA addresses the challenges posed by big data. QBA is a consultancy and value added service provider. “Our strategy is to provide utilities with consulting services and innovative big data solutions,” adds Gerard.
Metzler’s long association with IBM (retired Executive) and its business partners has helped QBA carve out a niche in analytics, serving energy and utilities clients. Specifically, QBA supports Landis+Gyr’s meter data management system and their ‘Advanced Grid Analytics’ (AGA) product. These are sophisticated analytics products, combining both temporal (time-series) and spatial data analytics. “We are providing skilled resources to conduct power flow and other asset analysis by interpreting GIS data and combining it with the data from ‘Advanced Metering Infrastructure’ (AMI) systems. This contributes to the grids asset health, predictive and reliability centered maintenance, and positively impact the longevity of the assets which comprise the smart grid managed by the utility across its geography,” says Gerard.
In addition to Landis+Gyr, QBA is a business partner of IBM in several key product areas: Business Process Transformation Software and quite naturally, Analytics. IBM has made enormous investments in software in recent years.
We do a quick diagnostic and help our customers improve their business process and use the data more effectively
It provides open source solutions throughout the world of information technology. This has created a number of service and solution opportunities for QBA.
QBA has worked with clients at the strategy level by applying the “Smart Grid Maturity Model” (SGMM), highlighting opportunities to deliver significant benefits by rethinking their business processes to take advantage of the new capabilities implemented by Smart Grid investments. In addition QBA has launched its ‘BIGEnergy Services’, providing intelligence on the operation of customer energy resources behind the meter. Customer investments in home energy management technologies and rooftop solar have made customer demand for electricity much harder to predict. QBA provides a near real-time, high definition view on the operation of solar resources – helping energy companies make better decisions on the operation of the power grid.
Another case which showcases QBA’s expertise in helping utilities is for a client who wants to proactively communicate with its customers during outages. “Accurate” restoration information will be provided to the utilities customers via a registered service. “QBA is working with this client to develop a more precise Estimated Time of Restoration (ETOR) and a system to communicate the ETOR with precision and accuracy,” explains Gerard. The service relies on outage data, meter data, damage assessments, crew and skills availability and other data characteristics.
Driven by their mantra of customer focus and innovation, QBA seems to be on the right path for growing its global footprint. With a penchant for taking on challenges and providing unique solutions, Gerard says, “We are looking for business ‘white spaces’ and want to fill those with innovation and unique solutions.”