Analytics in the Utilities Sector

Hartley McMaster has been providing analytics services to the utilities sector for around 20 years.

Consultancy Services

Our consultancy activities have included:

  • Analysis of requirements and specification of systems to support the regulatory business planning process in the water industry and asset investment planning in other parts of the utilities sector
  • Developing tariff optimisation models to help companies determine the most profitable tariff levels for their products
  • Conducting research into analytical techniques for automating the verification of waste water flow measurements and specifying how they should be implemented in real-time systems. Such systems allow companies to reduce the effort necessary for the manual analysis of flow data and subsequent engineering inspection of potential issues.

Investment Optimisation Products

We also have a suite of three software products, developed in-house, specifically for this market:

  • Investment Optimisation Engine (IOE) is a portfolio selection component that users can embed in their own investment selection systems. It utilises mathematical techniques to determine the optimal portfolio of projects. This might be the portfolio that maximises business benefit for a set of maximum costs (while still meeting performance targets and other constraints), or the portfolio that minimises the cost of achieving performance targets or service levels. IOE provides standard interfaces (via stored procedures) to SQL Server and ORACLE databases.
  • Investment Optimiser Plus (IO+) is a Windows application that allows users to set up and solve portfolio optimisation problems. IOE is used to solve the optimisation problem, which is set up via the IO+ user interface.
  • IO Solution Manager is used to collect asset investment data (performance, costs, etc.) for subsequent processing by IO+.

IOE is the core optimisation component built into ICS Consulting’s Investment Manager system, which is in use by South West Water, Welsh Water and Thames Water. IOE is also at the heart of Yorkshire Water’s asset investment optimisation system (ELSA). Variants of IO+ are used by South Staffordshire Water, Scottish Power, Dong Energy and Yorkshire Water both in support of the investment planning processes and for Water Resources planning. South Staffordshire Water use IO Solution Manager to collect data in support of their regulatory business planning process.

Hartley McMaster continue to develop these products, as well as providing ongoing maintenance, support and training.


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