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Transmission Engineering Digital Transformation for Large Investor Owned Utility Company

Holistic Review of Siloed Digital Data


An Investor-Owned Electric Utility in the Midwest is migrating its engineering design and construction as-built drawings from MicroStation to AutoCAD. The utility’s Transmission organization currently maintains six different data sources including plan and profile designs in PLS-CADD. Additionally, they use Esri ArcGIS to manage transmission GIS assets such as graphics, connectivity and attribution. As a result, they are producing redundant records and struggling with maintaining and keeping data sources in sync.


TRC conducted a needs and data assessment to identify gaps/pain points within the utilities current work processes and gave stakeholders an opportunity to explore ideas or potential efficiencies based on their experience.

Our team performed a Proof of Concept (POC) to investigate, test and recommend alternatives to the utility’s current processes/workflows focused on increasing and ensuring data productivity while maintaining data quality and integrity. We also developed a 2–5-year Technology Roadmap based on current initiatives, data governance, technology advancement and the transition to AutoCAD and Esri’s Utility Network (UN).


Our holistic review found that the utility and its Transmission Line Engineering group were operating in an ‘application centric’ paradigm due to systems or workflows disparate moves as part of “digital transformation.” Our recommendations included:

  • Organizational change: Based on current technology trends, shift to the current market paradigm around ‘data centric’ architectures where data is treated as an asset, the same as electric wire or a pole. Change management should be the root of this transition.
  • Systems Change: A phased, multi-year approach toward becoming a data centric organization using targeted system implementations and integrations.
  • Data Governance Change: A concerted focus on gap analysis followed by policies and standards enforced from procurement through operations to close the gaps, improve data fidelity and achieve Master Data Management (MDM).

TRC listened to the challenges that we are experiencing with our current process and stayed within the rails of our current constraints and in-flight initiatives to provide a solution tailored to our needs. We have a number of large technology projects going on right now and it is easy to lose sight of the end goal. The results of our collaboration with TRC will provide us a roadmap for the future of our data flow.

- Utility Sr. Engineer

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