Serving customers optimally with data-driven decisions

Consolidating data and systems to enable new digital services and data-driven decisions

Competitive pressure continues to grow in the energy market – opportunities are arising for providers such as badenova to stand out from the competition with new services and digital offerings. This requires data from different communication channels to be collected, adapted and made available to the right target group in the right quality. The goal is to support data-driven business decisions and use the data for evaluation purposes and marketing campaigns, such as marketing automation.

badenova and badenIT – energy supply and IT competence for South Baden

badenIT GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of badenova AG & Co. KG and is responsible for a large part of the energy provider’s IT infrastructure. badenIT is one of the leading managed service and IT infrastructure providers in southwest Germany. The company provides infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service for badenova and a host of other customers, as well as operating its own data centres and fibre optic networks such as the Metro Ethernet fibre optic network in Freiburg. 

badenova is the largest energy and environmental service provider in South Baden and offers a comprehensive range of utilities such as gas, water, electricity, internet and e-mobility. The company is well-known in the region for its sustainable and reliable energy solutions in the fields of green electricity and natural gas, and employs around 1,400 staff.

 

A scalable database for data-driven decisions in the energy industry

To meet the requirements, doubleSlash worked together with badenIT to build a data lake integrating data from multiple different channels. Both unstructured and structured data from the various sources was collected, adapted and analysed. To structure the procedure and visualise the data flows, a notation of the data lake zone model was used which had been adapted by doubleSlash. The different quality levels of data (zones) as well as the transitions (transformations) between the zones were modelled, designed and implemented in a subsequent implementation phase.

The data lake is in no way intended to replace existing productive systems (such as ERP). It is a useful addition as an analytical platform for evaluating large sets of data.

The Data Lake Zone Model: Transient Zone - Raw Zone - Trusted Zone - Refined Zone

What happens in the data lake zones?

  • Transient zone: The source systems initially transfer the data in its original format to the transient zone.
  • Raw zone: This is where the raw data retrieved from the data sources is stored. Measures to anonymise or pseudonymise data can already be taken at this stage. Unnecessary source data attributes can be removed or additional metadata added.
  • Trusted zone: In this zone, valid raw data is stored in a structured target format. The target format can be the same as the raw format, or a different format (such as a database table) can also be used if this makes it easier to generate commonly usable formats. Data located in this zone is the ‘source of truth’.
  • Refined zone: This is where valid, transformed and aggregated data is stored in various usable formats (geared towards the user / usage). The data is used for further processing within the system or can be made available for use by other systems.

The data science team at badenova can use this database to provide the marketing and sales team with information for evaluations, marketing campaigns and new product developments. The collected data will enable data-driven decision making and decision automation in future, especially with respect to:

  • process optimisation
  • developing new offers tailored to customer requirements and the customer lifecycle
  • enabling badenova subsidiaries to utilise the capabilities of the data lake.

A strong duo: infrastructure expertise and agile development for a future-proof data platform

The project was jointly implemented by doubleSlash and badenIT, a subsidiary of badenova IT. This interdisciplinary cooperation and the use of agile methods made a significant contribution to its success.

doubleSlash was responsible for the conception and technical development of the data lake applications. badenIT focused on hosting the basic infrastructure and Hadoop as well as supporting the application. This meant that the entire software lifecycle was covered and a suitable solution could be developed for badenova. Dealing with the growing complexity of the datasets and data sources was a major challenge, especially while remaining scalable for new products and market needs.

At the start of the project, the requirements of the different departments were gathered and a basic technical framework created. In the next stages, it is planned to connect additional sources and target systems to the data lake. This will enable badenova to understand their customers and target them more effectively, and to automate processes and decision making.

 

Digital partnering – successfully shaping the digital transformation in the energy industry

The interaction and networking of the two IT companies is the best proof of the potential of digital partnering – for both sides. As the client, badenova is familiar with the infrastructure as well as the market and the customer requirements. They sent their experienced IT subsidiary badenIT into the race for requirements: a high-performance, regional provider of competent, goal-oriented IT and communication solutions with strong expertise in infrastructure such as Hadoop clusters. doubleSlash as the digital partner brings the required IT know-how for implementing the data lake project and the agile culture, especially in the context of design, architecture and implementation of data pipelines. These intertwined professional and creative competence areas form an excellent basis for a targeted, investment-safe approach. What’s more, risks can be spread over several shoulders and the complexity of IT projects can be successfully reduced.

As a client of both companies, badenova benefited from the shared know-how, speed and flexibility, which are all decisive success factors when it comes to developing technologies and markets. As a result, companies from other sectors can also drive forward their digital transformation with doubleSlash and badenIT – quickly, flexibly and proactively. The foundations have been laid for sustainable cooperation in the future: collaboratively designing and implementing digital projects.

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Here’s what our partners say

“With doubleSlash as our partner, we were able to optimally combine our hosting and operation experience with their knowledge of data lakes and agile culture. The successful project at badenova has laid the foundations for fruitful collaboration in future digital projects in the energy supply sector.”

“The data lake acts as an interface between the badenova online shop and the marketing tool, for example, in sales. Thanks to the data lake, we can now address our customers more individually. This helps us to make sales decisions which are data-driven and more oriented towards the customer lifecycle.”

“We have established a trusting, solution-oriented cooperation with badenIT. Their expertise in infrastructure and support is the perfect complement to our knowledge of data pipeline architecture and development – providing optimal results for the customer. On top of that, our shared understanding of what it takes for effective collaboration is the ideal prerequisite for a sustainable partnership.”

Dr Alexander Schätzle  //  System Architect  //  badenIT

Dirk Fleischer  //  Data Lake Project Manager for Sales  //   badenova

Marc Mai  //  Project Manager  //  doubleSlash

Technologies

  • Hadoop
  • Hive
  • Kafka
  • Zeppelin Notebooks
  • OpenStack Cloud Platform
  • Docker
  • Java
  • SpringBoot
  • Maven

Services

  • Requirements management
  • IT and workflow design
  • Software architecture
  • Design, architecture and implementation of data pipelines based on data staging, data zones and data pipelines
  • Agile project management
  • Agile software development
  • Test management
  • 3rd level support
  • IT infrastructure competence

Do you have any questions or are you planning a data lake?

We’d love to hear from you!

Your contact

Marc Mai
Marc Mai
Expert for data integration

Phone
+49 7541 70078-785