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🚰 "Corralling Water Data"

The Water Values Podcast

Photo by Martin Katler / Unsplash

Host: Dave McGimpsey
Guest: Meena Sankaran | Founder & CEO | KETOS
Category: 🚰 Utilities

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[12:06] “I've spent about 17 years of my career in data center infrastructure, looking at how do you develop actionable insights out of […] the massive amount of big data that [we] collect. […] And fundamentally, what I realized is that movement just didn't happen in the water sector fast enough. […] And that kind of dawned on me. Why can't we leverage technology to move the needle for these […] sectors […] especially for precious resources like water? […] So for me personally, that was kind of a culmination of everything and I decided to found KETOS, […] an intersection […] of IoT meets data science meets robotics for the world of water.”

[16:05] “The water sector is very, very siloed. And so if you look at within the municipalities, […] within the next 10 years, a majority of the workforce in the utilities are going to retire. And that means, how are you pursuing the digital transformation you need over the next decade to happen now?”

[19:19] “[To better manage data,] the first thing is […] digitizing everything [to] have a common baseline to start. The second step would be after you have this digitized data, […] understand the time series part of it, like […] what's the frequency of testing that you've collected […]. And then look at […] data that's related to operational efficiency versus data that's looking at resource efficiency versus data that's looking at asset management. So really separating the data more based on the value of what it's supposed to create, versus keeping it all in a common sort of store, where you're not able to pick and choose the exact benefit it translates to. […] And then your third is taking that and building a pattern of what additional sensors do I now need, that are very targeted and specific to generating new data that I don't have, and is identified as a gap.”

[27:06] “One thing that's very, very common across the board […] when I've walked into any utility, or talked to any person in the water sector is how much they care. So every single person, whether it's a utility operator, or somebody who's out there driving for three hours to grab a sample, they truly care about water, and they care about what they're doing, which is why they've spent their entire lives in a single sector. […] And the question is, how do you help them channel that energy and make them realize that what we're trying to accomplish for them is not about replacing them, but really enhancing where their value can be?

[31:10] “We deliver a real time water intelligence solution, so that people can really feel empowered to take actions based on data driven insights. And as part of that process, we realized that we cannot give folks a siloed solution, we have to give them a comprehensive offering. So with that intent in mind, the solution is designed as a vertically integrated stack. So you can have the hardware and you have all of the connectivity from the hardware that's detecting the data and transmitting it into the cloud, all of the communication, the transmission, as well as is fully secured encrypted. […] We have a custom, very robust platform that we build, that basically takes all that data and delivers on your mobile phone or a web browser, depending on what you're using the information.”

[32:28] “One of the most unique things I've always felt is that you have to be in this day and age, have equipment be very autonomous, have them be remote controlled. So these are all bi-directional communication. For a water operator, let's say there's a COVID outbreak and their plant has issues, he does not need to show up, he can be in his house uses mobile phone, and activate all of the testing that he needs for the different water sources remotely, while looking at the data of how his water is performing in terms of iron and chromium and manganese.”

[40:53] “I would really encourage everyone to realize that this is what you're undergoing right now [in terms of digital water], these are not new inventions. Don't be afraid. This is innovation that has been deployed and practiced […] in other sectors. […] So challenge the status quo. Be curious, ask more questions. As you're designing your architectures, there are solutions [and] technologies out there. And this is the right time to act, because it's only going to help you be great at what you do and deliver a much higher value of service to your constituents. And ultimately, probably generate more revenue for each of you as industrial or utility companies to be more profitable and more lucrative, especially post COVID and in this market climate.”

Rating: 💧💧

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify
🕰️ 46 min | 🗓️ 05/04/2021
✅ Time saved: 44 min

Additional Links:
Bluefield Research